Ethiopian Health Ministry Formulating Strategic Plan To Prevent Blindness

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health is undertaking various interventions by formulating a national strategic plan for eye-care aimed at reducing blindness through qualified, accessible and sustainable eye-care services.

This was revealed at the 40th Annual Scientific Conference of the Ophthalmological Society of Eastern Africa which opened here on Thursday under the theme ‘’Save Sight from Glaucoma’’.

Addressing the conference, the Medical Service Director in the Ministry, Dr. Abreham Endeshaw, said blindness prevention and control had been among the priority areas in the country’s five-year health sector program.

Blindness and problems of low vision are major public health problems with their prevalence estimated as 1.6 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively, he said.

According to him, surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, and environmental changes to control trachoma had been implemented in 195 woredas (districts).

Significant achievements had been registered in increasing the number of institutions, ophthalmologists, cataract surgeons and ophthalmic nurses, the director said.

He said Ethiopia had 110 ophthalmologists which placed it as the leader in East Africa while Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania had 80, 16 and 40 respectively.

The two-day conference has attracted participants from various East African countries.


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