Addis Ababa May17/2017 President Mulatu Teshome appreciated the role of Lions-Carter Center Sight First Initiative in eliminating trachoma and river blindness during the last 15 years.
The President met today with a Lions-Carter Center Sight First Initiative delegation comprising nine members.
Mulatu assured the delegation that he will give all the necessary support towards the effectiveness of the projects as a member of the Lions Club International Foundation.
Since the inception of 419,216 trichiasis patients have reportedly benefited from surgical interventions and that reduces the initial backlog by 60 percent in the Amhara Regional State.
Region-wide active trachoma among children aged 1-9 has also decreased from 62.6 percent to 28.8 percent.
To alleviate suffering of trachiasis patients the project trained 999 Integrated Eye Care Workers who do surgical correction.
According to a Member of the Board of Trustees of Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF), Dr. Tebebe Yemane, the change is quite significant and we are on appropriate path to eliminate river blindness from the country.
He said eliminating trachoma and river blindness is eradicating poverty because these diseases mostly attack the very poorest section of the society and the initiative is working to eliminate them.
The Lions-Carter Center has assisted 108 river blindness endemic districts in Oromia, Amhara, Gambella, Benishangul Gumuz and SNNP regional states.
The treatment of river blindness with the assistance of Lions-Carter Center has increased from 200,000 in 2001 to over 15 million in 2015.
Meanwhile, the eighteenth trachoma campaign was launched on May 14, 2017 in 61 woredas of the Amhara region, it was learned.