Progress in eye care
Despite social tensions, Light for the World continued its work in eye care programmes and the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). In the five largest Ethiopian Regions—Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Somali and Tigray—we supported mobile ophthalmic outreaches and campaigns for mass drug administration to reach even more people than before. This approach proved to be very successful: in 2016 our local partners supplied 4.9 million people with Zithromax and carried out 26,587 eyelid operations to prevent irreversible blindness. In the coming months we will intensify our efforts against trachoma and other NTDs, by providing people in high risk areas with clean water and information about facial hygiene.
We also provided an impressive number of 5.2 million people with medication against onchocerciasis (river blindness).
In recognition of the important role that local ophthalmologists play, Light for the World supports two universities to enable young Ethiopian doctors to specialise in ophthalmology. In 2016, twenty students participated in the residential programmes at the universities in Gondar and Jimma. Our goal is to support a minimum of twenty ophthalmologists in training in both institutes, every single year.
Employment for Youth with Disabilities
In order to break the cycle of poverty and disability and end poverty altogether (UN Sustainable Development Goal 1), Light for the World has made Ethiopia one of the focus countries for the EmployAble programme that provides employment to youth with disabilities. Read more about the programme here.