"90% of my graduating class from medical school have moved on to more profitable countries to practice; I want to provide quality treatment in my community."
                                                                                     -Dr. Guadie Sharew, Bahir Dar University


  • Ethiopia has the highest rates of blindness and low vision in the world.
  • 62% of children in the Amhara region have some sort of bacterial eye infection.
  • 60% of children are likely to die within 1 year of losing sight.
  • 80% of blindness in Ethiopia is preventable or curable.


Only 108 ophthalmologists are tasked with serving 91 million Ethiopians. However, because 54 ophthalmologists are in the capital city Addis Ababa, only 5% of the country's population (5 million people), only 54 ophthalmologists are left to treat 86 million people.

This is not due to lack of medical education. Because of an unacceptable physician salary of $200-300/month, trained doctors consistently leave Ethiopia for better living and practicing conditions.

There are more Ethiopian doctors in the city of Chicago than there is in all of Ethiopia -  Ethiopian physicians need empowerment.




  • Travis C. P. et al. Effect of Mass Distribution of Azithromycin for Trachoma Control on Overall Mortality in Ethiopian Children. JAMA 302(9): 962-968 doi: 10.1001/jama.2009.1266.

  • Roeder, Amy. "Transforming Ethiopia’s Health Care System From the Ground Up." News. Harvard School of Public Health, 29 Aug. 2012.

  • The Carter Center - Trachoma Health Education Materials Library:

  • Berhane Y, Worku A, Bejiga A. National Survey on Blindness, Low Vision and Trachoma in Ethiopia. Sept. 2006.