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Our work in Ethiopia

More than 76 million people in Ethiopia live in trachoma-endemic areas – the highest of any country in the world.

A child is sitting on a wooden chair. A health worker is examining their eyes. Hibret and two other children are standing, watching in the background.

Sightsavers’ work in Ethiopia focuses on treating and preventing trachoma, an infectious eye disease that can cause blindness.

In 2012, we tracked cases of trachoma in Ethiopia as part of the Global Trachoma Mapping Project.

The data we collected showed that the disease was a public health problem in 90 per cent of districts: at that time, of the 109 million people who lived in the country, more than 69 million lived in trachoma-endemic areas, the highest of any country in the world.

To tackle this, under the Accelerate programme, Sightsavers and partners are continuing to build on the work of UK aid’s SAFE trachoma control programme, and using the World Health Organization’s SAFE strategy to stop the spread of trachoma through surgery, antibiotics, face washing and environmental improvements. In 2019, we helped to distribute 15.2 million antibiotic treatments for trachoma in the country.

At a glance

Total population
  • 107.5 million

  • What we focus on
  • Trachoma

  • Key programmes
  • Accelerate
  • Super School of Five
  • Tropical Data

  • Previous programmes
  • SAFE: trachoma control

  • I didn’t imagine that the pain of trachoma could be relieved with just 20 minutes of surgery. Now my hope is back.
    Rahel, 18, from Raya Alamata district
    Rahel Kasaw is sitting down outside with trees behind her. She is leaning on her hand and looking to the side. She is wearing a bright pink cardigan.
    Sister Habiba Shemsu.

    How we’re making a difference in Ethiopia

    Sister Habiba Shemsu is an eye care worker in the south-west Arba Minch district, and she often walks eight hours a day to get to work. Yet she says it’s worth it to help save sight in rural Africa.

    Read her story

    Your donation could help to protect sight

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