November 2017

Orbis Ethiopia’s very first country director, Dr. Wondu Alemayehu, has been awarded with the honourable Laureate status for his exceptional and significant contributions towards the improvement of eye care in Ethiopia.

The Board of Abyssinia Award recognises Dr. Alemayehu’s extraordinary contribution to the improvement of eye health in Ethiopia.

Visual impairment, including blindness, has moved from a total lack of recognition, not being mentioned even by name in the early 90s, to one of the priority health programs of the nation. This was possible because of the commitment and dedication of all of us and our respective development organisations, local as well as international. We now have initiatives spearheaded and funded by the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia. Initiatives such as the successful National Survey of Blindness and Visual Impairment and National Trachoma Mapping project, part of the bigger Global Trachoma Mapping Project

Dr Wondu Alemayehu

Several other projects on which Dr Alamayehu worked also contributed to him being recognised in his profession. The scaling up of the trachoma elimination program to cover the entire country, fast-tracking Trachomatous Trichiasis and Cataract backlog clearance and a School Health Program in which eye health has a major focus all aided in improving the availability and quality of eye health services and uptake nationally. “Additionally, working to develop a five-year national strategic plan for eye health and the ongoing planning for conducting the 2nd National Visual Impairment and Blindness survey are all breakthrough developments. We also focus on institutional capacity building: the Eye Bank of Ethiopia and ongoing research works are among the significant developments”, he said.

Orbis Ethiopia Country Dr Sisay describes Dr Alemayehu as a charismatic and passionate mentor, researcher, academic and Trachoma fighter.

Dr Alemayehu was presented the award in the presence of the Board of the Abyssinia Award by the past-president of Ethiopia H.E. Girma Woldegiorgis.

Orbis Africa is proud to be part of the ground-breaking eye health strategies in Ethiopia and looks forward to the bringing about lasting eye health improvements across sub-Saharan Africa, in partnership with passionate individuals like Dr Alemayehu.

Photo (c)