In October 2017, a group of Vision Aid Overseas volunteers delivered eye screening to more than 800 children and adults in Nekemte, Ethiopia.

Thanks to the funding provided by Exeter- Ethiopia Link and the Inclusive Education Project (IEP), the group made up of five Optometrists and one Dispensing Optician embarked on a two-week assignment to Nekemte Eye Clinic to deliver vital eye care services.


Belachew Paulos, Country Representative commented;

The clinics were very busy as there is very little, if any, provision for affordable eye care in the region. Many patients required spectacles for both reading and for long distance vision. There were also a significant number of patients who were very short sighted.


This was the second assignment to visit Nekemte, as the first one was cut short due to safety and security issues in the region.  The primary aims of the assignment were to:

  • Provide eye tests and glasses to the local people at the Nekemte Eye Clinic

  • In partnership with the Inclusive Education project, provide outreach clinics to deliver eye tests to school children in surrounding rural areas that had been pre-screened for eye conditions.

  • Deliver training for Optical Technicians on the workshop equipment for making glasses, and refraction training for the Ophthalmic nurses at Nekemte Eye Clinic


Belachew continued;

In total, 842 patients received a full eye examination at the clinic over the course of the two weeks. 579 received a pair of spectacles, of which 184 were female and 395 were male. 71 patients presented conditions that needed referral for specialist care in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Despite having a relatively fast-growing economy, Ethiopia is still one of the world’s poorest countries with many people lacking access to basic access to healthcare services. Working with government ministries and other INGOs, Vision Aid Overseas supports sustainable eye care systems that deliver much needed eye care services from locally trained eye care workers at an affordable rate.


To find out more about our work in Ethiopia, click here.