ORBIS has worked in Ethiopia for over 14 years to implement a model for comprehensive rural eye care focusing on capacity building, health care technology development and advocacy to address critical gaps in eye care.
Since 2011 ESCRS has supported ORBIS to develop a Paediatric Eye-Care Centre in Gondar Hospital. ESCRS funds have gone towards training resident ophthalmologists in sub-specialties such as Paediatric Cataract and Glaucoma in order to be able to treat a wide range of paediatric eye conditions.
The latest installment of this training took place in October 2012 when ORBIS conducted a week long Hospital-Based Program in Gondar. In the video you can see ORBIS Volunteer and Paediatric Ophthalmologist Dr Donny Suh give hands-on training to Dr Mulusew, the Head of the Paediatric Eye Care Unit at Gondar. This type of training is only possible thanks to the support of ESCRS.
ESCRS is contributing funds to an ORBIS project to establishment a paediatric eye care unit in Gondar University Hospital in Northern Ethiopia. The contribution is helping to fund the training of Dr. Mulusew Asferaw and Dr. Asamere Tsegaw in the sub specialties of paediatrics and retina.
ESCRS is delighted to announce that the Society is funding both doctors to attend the XXX Congress of the ESCRS in Milan in September. Dr. Yared Assefa, the head of department, has also been invited to attend the Congress.
The doctors have expressed their sincere gratitude for this support and feel that the experience will have a profound effect on their professional development and quality of care they provide to their patients.
The ORBIS/Oxfam booth in Milan will be located in the connecting walkway between the North and South Wing on Level 2.
Please come and chat with us, we would love to answer any questions you might have.
The president of the ESCRS, Peter Barry, has pledged to continue the society’s support for the two fundraising projects. “Charitable initiatives are very important for the society and our support of Oxfam and ORBIS has been very rewarding,” said Dr. Barry. “I am delighted to announce our continuing support for the ORBIS and Oxfam projects for a further two years”.
A total of €33,500 was donated to the two charities in 2011. Funds were initially raised from delegates when registering for the 15th ESCRS Winter Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey and the XXIX ESCRS Congress in Vienna, Austria. Additional funds were raised from a raffle at the Vienna Congress. The ESCRS Board also pledged to donate an additional €25,000 from the society’s funds. The amount donated to each charity in 2011 was €16,750 and new activities are already being planned for 2012.
With the money raised by the ESCRS, Dr. Mulusew Asferaw (see left) was selected for training on 'Paediatric Ophthalmology' at CCBRT in Tanzania,
which started in December 2011.
Dr. Asamere Tsegaw was selected for training in 'Retina', starting his
training in Canada last December also.
During this 13-month Public Health project in Kitgum and Lamwo Districts, Oxfam has continued to strengthen the services provided by local government and build the self-reliance of households who returned to their villages after the two-decade conflict ended. There is still a significant amount of work to do, but the region feels to be truly in a development, rather than a humanitarian or recovery, context.
Individual achievements include:
Support to the District Water Officers to assess, train and certify a cadre of Hand Pump Mechanics (150 in total with 18% women) to ensure communities have access to prompt, reliable and affordable maintenance and repair services;
Fully equipping a District Water Quality Laboratory, including a motorcycle so that samples can be taken and analysed from water sources throughout the District;
Conversion and handover to sub-county authorities of five water supply systems in the former camps. Participatory decisions were based on consumer demand for water, their ability to pay and local government’s ability to operate and maintain the systems. This led to one being retained as a diesel-powered system, two converted to solar power and two converted to hand pumps. Water User Committees were trained and equipped to manage these systems;
Training of 20 key members of the District Disaster Management Committees on the appraisal of vulnerabilities and hazards, the application of appropriate Disaster Risk Reduction methods and the development of comprehensive Contingency plans.
Oxfam is working with District staff, Sub-County staff and communities to consolidate all the achievements of the last four years, since communities are starting returning to their villages of origin. These achievements are being built into an overall Community-Based Water Resource Management system that complies with the national Operation and Maintenance policy and will enable the government and people to take responsibility for their own water and sanitation needs and performance in the future.