HCP Announces New Speciality Eye Center in Ethiopia

Ethiopia shoulders one of the highest burdens of blindness in the world, with an estimated backlog of 800,000 people with cataract blindness. Only 70,000 Ethiopians receive cataract surgery each year, leaving hundreds of thousands waiting for care.

A new project launched by HCP, the Bahir Dar Specialty Eye Center, will respond to this issue in the country’s Amhara region, ultimately offering a sustainable, replicable and scalable model to alleviate the backlog of preventable blindness in Ethiopia and beyond. Using the Amhara Regional Health Bureau’s estimates, the region sees 30,800 new people suffering from needless blindness every year.

The Bahir Dar Specialty Eye Center will:

  • Alleviate the growing backlog of needless blindness in the Amhara region
  • Establish a scalable, sustainable social enterprise model
  • Provide quality eye care to everyone who needs it
  • Build ophthalmic capacity in Ethiopia through specialized training programs

The Center, at over 20,000 square feet, will be built according to national and global standards while drawing on HCP’s previous experience building similar structures in Asia and Africa.

The Center is projected to provide an estimated 45,500 cataract surgeries and 254,500 eye examinations in its first five years of operations. Remote screening activities will bring patients who cannot afford surgery to the Center for fully subsidized care. Over 100 training opportunities will be made available for regional ophthalmic eye care professionals.

Made possible in part by a grant from Patrick and Tamar Pichette, the Bahir Dar Specialty Eye Center is part of our strategy to develop replicable, sustainable models that will eradicate preventable and curable blindness in low-resource countries. The Center builds upon co-founder Dr. Sanduk Ruit’s vision, realized through Tilganga’s Community Eye Hospital model in Nepal, and combines the best elements of models executed by HCP in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

 Construction of the Center is slated to begin next year, with a planned opening in early 2022.

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