Demissie Tadesse on behalf of Sight for Souls, USA




Scaling up eye care service volume in Ethiopia through the training and deployment of mid-level ophthalmic personnel


The project

Ethiopia is one of the world's most medically underserved countries, with especially high rates of blindness in urban centers such as Addis Ababa. In Greater Addis Ababa, cataract surgery is performed at well below the desired rate, and many people require trachoma surgery, glasses and other eye care services, but existing eye care centers often function poorly, in part due to the limited availability and use of mid-level ophthalmic personnel.

The aim of this project is to improve ophthalmic services in this region by training and deploying valuable mid-level ophthalmic personnel for a a high-throughput eye care center currently under development in Addis Ababa. Personnel will be recruited and trained for seven key roles, including ophthalmic technician, operating room team, surgical counsellor and pharmacy and optical shop managers. The initiative will also provide training and career opportunities for women, in a country where the employment status of women requires improvement.

It is estimated that an additional 4,000 to 6,000 cataract surgeries will be performed over the first three years of this project, in addition to the provision of other eye care services. It is also hoped that the success of the high-throughput eye center will demonstrate the value of these mid-level ophthalmic personnel, leading to additional centers using the approach and enhancing eye care service delivery regionally.


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