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Vision Aid Overseas launches urgent Appeal for Ethiopia

Published: 10.07.2017

Man getting his visual acuity tested

Vision Aid Overseas has launched an urgent appeal to help train and support 20 final year optometry students at Hawassa University College of Health and Medical Sciences in Ethiopia.

With fewer than three qualified optometrists per million in Ethiopia, the charity is seeking to raise a minimum of £9, 950 to help provide essential practical training and skill sharing sessions to Ethiopia’s future Optometrists. So, that the students can in return support the provision of affordable eye care services and spectacles to over one million children and adults across Ethiopia in the next 20 years.

Mulugeta, VAONicola Chevis, Chief Executive Officer told us: “If a country is to have sustainable eye care services, it must have skilled staff to do the job. That’s why Vision Aid Overseas puts so much emphasis on training local eye care workers and optometry students (future eye care workers) in the countries where we work. The Hawassa students will get the opportunity to learn from and work alongside UK Professional Volunteers on outreach programmes to get the vital experience they need to work with patients once employed in government health services. We hope that with increased training and experience amongst the next generation of optometrists, these students will actively support the implementation of affordable eye care services across Ethiopia like Mulugeta (pictured). He is a former student who benefited from our training Programme in 2012 and now works as a qualified Optometrist at Grarbet Tehadiso Mahber (GTM), the Vision Aid Overseas supported partner Programme, screening over 35-40 patients a day for impaired vision.”

The income raised from this appeal will help Vision Aid Overseas to provide:

  • Hands on training and mentoring for 20 final year optometry students in Ethiopia
  • Training and support for 12 faculty staff at Hawassa, benefitting future optometry students for many years to come
  • Local access to refraction and spectacles to 1.2 million people over the next 20 years

To support the Ethiopia appeal, please visit: