Ethiopia is the tenth largest country in Africa and the third largest in number of inhabitants. It has a diverse religious and ethnic composition. Approximately 42 % inhabitants practice Christianity (Ethiopian Orthodox Church), 48 % - Sunni Islam, 6 % - other Christian churches and 4 % - traditional African religions (animism). The 1994 constitution established 9 regional states and 2 chartered cities. The states are further divided into districts (woreda) and neighborhoods (kebele). The economy is mostly based on agricultural, which employs about 85 % of the populations and constitutes 42.1 % of GDP. Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, and is very dependent on foreign development and humanitarian help. Approximately 78 % of Ethiopians live on the equivalent of less than $2 per day.
Nearly 1.2 million of sightless people live in Ethiopia, and approximately every sixth Ethiopian suffers from eye disease. In 87 % of these cases blindness can be prevented through simple means .
According to the Human Poverty Index, Ethiopia is the fourth poorest country in the world. Moreover if poverty is measured by opportunities for individual development (Human Development Index), the country regularly ranks among the bottom 10. Ethiopia´s development indicators are far below the average of the already very poor area Sub-Saharan Africa.
Poverty together with limited access to medical care, drinking water, education and hygienic information leads to the country having a higher prevalence of people with various physical or mental disabilities. These people usually live in the lowest social stratum.
The most common vision diseases in Ethiopia are cataracts and trachoma. Nine million Ethiopian children are infected with trachoma. Trachoma can be prevented simply by improving hygiene and implementing prophylactic drugs. In more advanced stages of the disease regular use of antibiotics or surgery are necessary.
We assist local partner organizations participating in prevention and healing of vision impairment, prevention and correction of other disabilities, manufacturing and distribution of physiotherapy equipment, systematic work with persons with disabilities and the communities. Projects are focused on prevention as well as elimination of consequences. The Ethiopia programme aims to:
- double the number of eye doctors,
- increase the number of medical staff,
- open specialized educational facilities outside the capital Addis Ababa,
- establish new eye clinics in rural areas.
We strongly advocate extending access to medical care in Ethiopia´s rural areas. In fact, 70 % of the 80 operating eye doctors in Ethiopia work in Addis Ababa, making most rural areas devoid of decent access to medical care.
- Braille books for the central library for blind persons
- Rehabilitation and integration of deaf children
- University Eye Clinic with mobile eye care
- Eye Clinic Quiha
- Eye Clinics Butajira and Batu (Zewaye)
Area: 1 133 380 km²*