Located in the eastern region of Africa, Ethiopia is a rapidly developing country and is quickly emerging from extreme poverty.

Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa. It has a huge population of over 100 million people and yet it relies on just 300 qualified optometrists to look after the eye health needs of all its people. Despite having one of the fastest growing economies in the region, Ethiopia is still one of the lowest average incomes per person with many people lacking access to basic healthcare services.

Our work in focus

Working in partnership with the Ethiopian non-government organisation (NGO), Grarbet Tehadiso Mahber (GTM), Vision Aid Overseas has supported the establishment of five Vision Centres across Ethiopia since 2001, enabling tens of thousands of people to receive eye tests and glasses, most for the first time in their lives.

Vision Aid Overseas supports final year optometry students at Hawassa University College of Health and Medical Sciences (UCHMS), and the University of Gondar, with training visits from professional volunteers on an annual basis.  We now also support the faculty staff with professional development training.


Making it happen

In 2013, the Department for International Development (DFID) awarded Vision Aid Overseas with a major grant to help improve the livelihoods of people living in five districts of southern Ethiopia. After three successful years of working in partnership with DFID, Essilor UK and the Ethiopian NGO, GTM, the project which aimed to increase access to primary eye care, glasses and treatment for eye diseases was able to screen over 184,000 people for eye conditions, 50% of whom were women and girls. Read the rest of our success story here.

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