2011 Blog Posts

December 15, 2011
by bnigut |

Editor's note: This blogpost reprinted with permission from IAPB

Eye Health Hero is a novel initiative by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) where all member organisations (including virtually every major international NGO working in eye health, professional bodies for ophthalmology and optometry, and disabled persons' organisations worldwide) are encouraged to nominate and sponsor an eye health hero to attend the IAPB 9th General Assembly (9GA) in Hyderabad, India, September 2012. At 9GA, these 'heroes' will have the opportunity to meet the world’s leading thinkers in blindness prevention, to survey systems at the award-winning LV Prasad Eye Institute, and participate in the Assembly's many ceremonies or gala events. 

ORBIS, the international sight-saving organisation has nominated Programme Manager and Ophthalmologist, Dr Alemayehu Sisay MD, as ORBIS's Eye Health Hero. 
Working in southern regions of Ethiopia to tackle trachoma, Dr Sisay's work is tireless and incessant. Dr Sisay is a hands-on Programme Manager, travelling to rural areas and remote health points. As an ophthalmologist himself he assesses projects, makes recommendations and assists with the continued professional development of the eye care professionals working to eliminate trachoma.

Such is his passion for the cause and his overriding sense of duty, Dr Sisay stops people in the street if he sees they or their children have symptoms of trachoma. He examines them and directs them to the nearest source of help, all whilst on his way to meetings or programme assessments. 

Ensuring that trachoma is eliminated in the southern region of Ethiopia is our goal and using the WHO SAFE strategy we are making great inroads.
Dr Sisay has also been doing cataract surgery in remote rural health facilities, which was the first of its kind. This approach had made cataract surgical services accessible and affordable to poor and needy rural communities. This approach has evolved into SECUs' being established in rural projects. Moreover, he has been training nurses on basic refraction to perform school screening, and provision of spherical lenses for school children. 
ORBIS is proud to celebrate Dr Sisay, in Ethiopia and across the world, and all those doing fantastic work to eliminate avoidable blindness in developing countries, at the IAPB 9th General Assembly in India, 2012.