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Photo: A young ophthalmologist in Ethiopia during a mobile eye care outreach, among his patients

Early Childhood Development

To ensure children reach their full developmental potential, it is imperative that rehabilitation begins as early as possible. This is why we support training of health extension workers on paediatric physiotherapy and early identification of children with disabilities. Furthermore we strive to change the—often negative—attitude towards people with disabilities in society. In 2017, 10 new regional and community based projects on inclusive education were started and we helped develop resource centres for inclusive education in 15 local schools. In 2017, 1,384 children with disabilities went so school, 4,646 received rehabilitation services and support.

Eye Care for Rural Ethiopia

With a population of 105 Million, but only 150 ophthalmologists, the shortage of eye care specialists is evident in Ethiopia. Among the eight eye clinics supported by Light for the World are the university clinics of Jimma and Gondar, two of only four training centres for ophthalmologists in Ethiopia. Light for the World is currently supporting 38 medical students with scholarships as they pursue their studies, striving to bring a brighter future to their country. 24,928 cataract surgeries have been performed in 2017 and 503,930 people reached with eye care services in clinics and at 551 mobile outreaches to remote areas. To fight neglected tropical diseases, we distributed nearly 13 million doses of medication.

Number of resident ophthalmologists: 80 in 2005, 132 plus 27 in training in 2016 

Employment for Youth with Disabilities

In order to break the cycle of poverty and disability and end poverty altogether (UN Sustainable Development Goal 1), Light for the World has made Ethiopia one of the focus countries for the EmployAble programme that provides employment to youth with disabilities. Read more about the programme here.

Quality of Life for People with Disabilities 

In Southern Ethiopia our partner, the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD) supported by the Light for the World Inclusion Lab in the Netherlands, did a survey to measure access to healthcare, rehabilitation, education, livelihood and community participation.

Almost 1.000 people with different types of disabilities were interviewed and the data shows that people with disabilities very often have inadequate access to the aforementioned opportunities. Women with disabilities often face more barriers.

To see the facts and figures behind the survey results, please read the Quality of Life of Persons with Disabilities in SNNPR, Ethiopia 2019 report.

Karte von Äthiopien
    • Area: 1,133,380 km2
    • Population: 102.4 million
    • Life expectancy: 62.2 years
    • Ophthalmologists: 150
    • Ophthalmologists supported by us: 24
Nemera Woyessa

Country Representative for Ethiopia: Nemera Woyessa

+251 (0) 115580458
n.woyessa [at]

Where we work