Orbis Ireland

Orbis' mission is to preserve and restore sight by strengthening the capacity of local partners in their efforts to prevent and treat blindness with the vision that this will lead to a world in which no one is needlessly blind, where quality eye care, education, and treatment are available to every human being.
Feb 11, 2014

Building and Maintaining Community Latrines

Have you ever thought about just how important our ceramic friends can be? ORBIS has been building and maintaining community latrines since 2007. As a pivotal element of the SAFE strategy for trachoma elimination, providing community access to sanitation facilities is a high priority for our staff in Ethiopia. 

Before the intervention of ORBIS, open defecation was common in this part of Ethiopia. With a dense population and poor hygiene facilities at hand, this practice aids the spread of disease and sickness. Building community latrines provides people with basic facilities that help stop the spread of diseases like trachoma. 

In Bonke, southern Ethiopia, ORBIS is working to ensure that local villagers have access to these facilities. In doing so, we are ensuring that trachoma elimination will be achieved. When coupled together with the other elements of the SAFE strategy, we are providing a firm effort to reach our goal where no one is needlessly blinded by this awful disease. 

ORBIS Ireland has been fighting against trachoma in southern Ethiopia for over seven years now. Our goal is to eliminate trachoma from a population of around two million people living in some of the poorest areas of this country. None of our work would be possible without the generous support of people like you. On behalf of all those who will benefit from your continued support, thank you!

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Feb 11, 2014

Providing Clean Water to the People of Dita

In southern Ethiopia, water is a very precious commodity indeed. However, ensuring that the local population can access clean, potable water is a priority in our work. The WHO recommended SAFE strategy for trachoma elimination places a huge emphasis on the need for clean water. Without this vital life giving resource, eliminating trachoma would be impossible. 

Our staff in Ethiopia are working hard to spread the word about the importance of hand and face washing. This action ensures that trachoma infections cannot take hold. Given that trachoma is a highly infectious disease, it is vital that we spread the word about facial cleanliness.

We have been working in Dita for over seven years now and the results of providing clean water to this area are starting to become ever more obvious. We can see that children have bright, clean faces and that their eyes are free from trachoma infection. Even more amazing is the fact that their parents too are learning the importance of hand and face washing in the battle to eliminate trachoma from this densely populated region.

ORBIS is working in partnership with WaterAid to ensure that the people of this region have access to clean water. The knock on effect of providing clean water to the people of Dita is that other diseases will decline too; meaning that your support for our trachoma elimination project goes even further. Without you, our work would not be possible and on behalf of all those who will directly benefit from your support, thank you.

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Dec 17, 2013

Revisiting our Success Stories

Mamite After Surgery
Mamite After Surgery

Back in 2011, ORBIS Ireland travelled to Konso, southern Ethiopia and we met with Mamite Kagnew. Mamite had been suffering in excruciating pain as her trachoma infection gradually got worse. With her sight deteriorating rapidly, she was unable to work or contribute to the family's income and began to feel like a burden. Mamite was lucky enough to meet with Gedensho Gemeda, an ORBIS-trained eye care worker. Her condition was diagnosed immediately and Gedensho performed a simple yet highly effective sight-saving surgery on Mamite at the local health centre.

Last November we travelled back to Konso and met with Mamite once more. To our delight, she was fit and healthy and there was no sign of trachoma infection. Moreover, she has become an advocate for sight in her own community. With thanks to some basic information on the importance of hand and face washing given to her by ORBIS staff, Mamite was able to spread the word and play her own part in reducing the rate of transmission in her community.  

Mamite is just one of thousands of people who have suffered with trachoma in the past. With thanks to our supporters, people just like her can have their life back too. ORBIS is continuing in the battle to eliminate trachoma and seeing Mamite greet us with open arms proves that we are making real progress. Thank you for your support!

Mamite Today
Mamite Today

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