Final year student receives training and now provides vital eye tests to 35 - 40 patients every day in Ethiopia


Name: Mulugeta

Country: Ethiopia

Profession: Optometrist


Meet Mulugeta, a 28-year-old Optometrist working at the Grarbet Tehadiso Mahber (GTM), the Vision Aid Overseas supported programme in Butajira, Ethiopia.


Vision Aid Overseas first met Mulugeta in 2012 when he was in his final year studying Optometry at Hawassa University. Mulugeta was one of the students who benefitted from the Vision Aid Overseas Training Programme in Ethiopia, supported by UK Professional Volunteers. This two-week Training Programme aims to provide optometry students with practical training and skill sharing sessions so that they have the vital experience they need to work with patients once employed in government health services. 

Did you know, Ethiopia has one of the lowest patient to optometrist ratio? With fewer than three qualified optometrists per million patients.

 During the Training Programme, Mulugeta learnt about the process involved when performing an eye test, patient care and time management skills. He also had the opportunity to apply the skills learnt under supervision from the UK volunteers on a three-day outreach programme to a rural village where basic health care services are scarce.


Mulugeta told us,

This was a very poor area, where eye diseases were totally neglected. The Vision Aid Overseas volunteers taught me so much, including how to do different tests, the different steps involved and how to best manage my time.

When Mulugeta graduated from University, he worked for a government hospital in Alamata, Tigray in northern, Ethiopia for two years until he moved to GTM. Thanks to your support, Mulugeta now has the skills and experience to provide eye care services to disadvantaged children and adults in Ethiopia. On an average day in GTM, Mulugeta can provide vital eye tests to 35-40 patients suffering from poor eye sight, providing eye care to a total of over 12,000 patients per year.

Mulugeta added,

I was not screened as a child, but I think it really does help to diagnose problems early which leads to better outcomes. So my dream is to screen all children early on and ensure, if they need them, they can get their glasses.

To support Vision Aid Overseas’ work in Ethiopia, please click here to donate.

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