Addis Ababa September 02/2018 Flying Eye Hospital (FEH) has started providing three weeks long eye care training and surgical service programs here yesterday.
FEH has reportedly landed in Ethiopia for the fifth time.
Flying Eye Hospital Director, Maurice Geary, said the volunteer professionals will offer ophthalmic training for 355 local trainees, including biomedical engineers, nurses and medical doctors working in anesthesia. They will also operate on more than 120 patients.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, he said “the aim of FEH is to strengthen the capacity of eye health professionals in delivering sub-specialized eye care services and residency training in the country.”
Health State Minister, Dr. Kebede Worku emphasized on the contribution of the training in minimizing prevalence of avoidable blindness and low vision in the country.
Some 1.6 percent of the population is estimated to be blind while low vision is about 3.6 percent in Ethiopia, he revealed, adding that 80 percent of these are either preventable or avoidable.
According to the state minister, the leading causes of blindness and low vision are cataracts and glaucoma.
The ministry has been making about 60,000 cataracts surgery per year. However, Dr. Kebede said, conducting 120,000 cataract surgery per year is necessary in order to eliminate cataract within five year.
The training underway would have paramount importance to reach the target through the use of the trained professionals, he added.
Fly Eye Hospital, which is the only U.S accredited teaching hospital on board MD-10 aircraft, has been flying to developing countries to give training and treat selected patients since 1982.