Dr Alemayehu Sisay MD

Eye Health Hero: Dr Alemayehu Sisay MD

Ahead of the IAPB 9th General Assembly in Hyderabad, India, there is more excitement than ever in the ORBIS ranks. The international sight-saving organisation has nominated Country Manager and Ophthalmologist, Dr Alemayehu Sisay MD, as ORBIS’s Eye Health Hero.


Working in southern regions of Ethiopia to tackle trachoma, Dr Sisay’s work is tireless and incessant.

Dr Alemayehu is a hands-on Country Manager, travelling to rural areas and remote health points. As an ophthalmologist himself he assesses projects, makes recommendations and assists with the continued professional development of the eye care professionals working to eliminate trachoma. Such is his passion for the cause and his overriding sense of duty he stops people in the street if he sees they or their children have symptoms of trachoma. He examines them and directs them to the nearest source of help, all whilst on his way to meetings or programme assessments.


Image: Zithromax antibiotics distribution. Copyright: ORBIS, Raul Vasquez


Ensuring that trachoma is eliminated in the southern region of Ethiopia is our goal and using the WHO SAFE strategy we are making great in roads.


Ethiopia – Trachoma in Gamo Gofa. Copyright: Raul Vasquez


Dr Alemayehu has also been doing cataract surgery in remote rural health facilities from woreda to woreda, which was the first of its kind. This approach had made cataract surgical service accessible and affordable to the more poor rural and needy communities. This approach has evolved into SECUs that are being established in the rural projects. Moreover, he has been training nurses on basic refraction to perform school screening and provisions of spherical lenses for school children.

ORBIS is proud to celebrate Dr Sisay, our teams in Ethiopia and across the world, and all those doing fantastic work to eliminate avoidable blindness in developing countries, at the 9GA next year.

All IAPB members are encouraged to sponsor their eye health hero to attend the 9GA. At the 9GA, heroes will have the opportunity to meet the world’s leading thinkers in prevention of blindness, to survey the systems at L V Prasad Eye Institute, and even participate in one of the ceremonies or gala events.

Help us highlight the many small everyday miracles that make VISION 2020’s goals possible; nominate your hero now!