Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania & Uganda

Across Africa, an estimated 4.8 million people are blind and another 16.6 million are visually impaired.

According to the World Health Organization, 57 countries are currently in crisis when it comes to Human Resources for Eye Health (HReH). Of those, 36 are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Innovative strategies to address this staff shortage and to improve the outcomes of eye health training institutions in the region are more urgent than ever.

Our pioneering Human Resources for Eye Health Initiative will strengthen a network of African medical schools and affiliated teaching hospitals by:

  • Providing quality training and infrastructure for better training and service delivery
  • Building an African leadership network to lead the way towards elimination of avoidable blindness
  • Advocating for eye health to become an integral component of participating country’s health systems

HReH uses a long-term approach to develop a strong group of African leaders that does not rely on external support and will address the unmet eye health needs across the continent. This means identifying leaders early on, developing them in that role, and creating programs that build relationships and capacity.

With your support we helped build structured residency programs across Sub-Saharan Africa and have strengthened five partner institutions through sub-speciality training. We have also helped provide essential equipment to ensure the efficient running of key eye units.

What We're Doing Next

Orbis Africa, in partnership with International Association for the Prevention of Blindness Africa and the College of Ophthalmology of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (COECSA), will roll out Human Resources for Eye Health strengthening activities in the region. Orbis Africa’s work will center on Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

75% of all blindness and visual impairment is preventable, but it takes the right human resources to stop them in their tracks. Getting the Human Resource for Eye Health component right means we will have the right people in the right place with the right skills at the right time.


  • International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Africa
  • College of Ophthalmology of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (COECSA)


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