ABSTRACT

The prevalence of blindness in Ethiopia is estimated to be 1.5% (about 750,000 people). Approximately 80% of blindness is attributed to preventable or curable diseases. 1 Although much remains to be elucidated regarding the ecology, prevalence, and thus, magnitude of ocular diseases in Ethiopia, a number of community-based studies in different parts of the country revealed that the leading etiologies of blindness are trachoma (cornea) (42%), degenerative (cataract) (29%), and glaucoma, malnutrition, and infections (mainly in childhood blindness) 1 6 (Tables 16.1 and 16.2). Stratified sample surveys of 11,441 persons over 6 years of age in the seven administrative regions of Shewa, Arsi, Gamo Gofa, Kefa, Ilubabor, Welega, and Gojam reported an overall rate of blindness of 1.3%; the rate was higher in rural areas (1.44%) than urban areas (0.66%). 5