Sight for Souls impacts the lives of people from all walks of life in Ethiopia by providing clinical and surgical care, training and research to save and restore sight. Through this work, Sight for Souls can play a small role in transforming lives and communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Access to eye treatment services is very limited in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, and Ethiopia is no exception. Basic eye care is not easily available for over 75% of the population, and people may need to travel long distances to see an eye care provider. If the issue is serious, advanced surgical care is limited to a few hospitals.
Sight for Souls has partnered with the MyungSung Christian Medical Center (MCM) Comprehensive Specialized Hospital to provide clinical and surgical care for patients, through treatment at its facility in Addis Ababa. We also support public health initiatives, through short-term clinical and surgical projects, community education and screening programs, with an aim to enable people and their communities to reach their full potential and overcome barriers from blindness.
Sight for Souls also supports community and public health in Ethiopia and has developed a strategy for reaching the rural communities, where many of the people with the highest burden of eye disease and poverty live. Through short-term clinical and surgical projects, community education and screening programs, and public health research, we aim to enable people and their communities to reach their full potential.
Sight for Souls is focused on training the next generations of ophthalmologists and eye health professionals in sub-Saharan Africa who in turn will provide comprehensive and subspecialty eye care in underserved areas of the world. To achieve this goal, we develop accredited programs that support medical student, resident and subspecialty eye care training. Local medical professionals are a necessity in improving long-term outcomes for health in any country. Ethiopian professionals are best suited to treat Ethiopian patients, having the necessary language and cultural understanding as well as proximity. As with any country, training of Ethiopian eye health professionals requires that education and training happen in the country.
Sight for Souls has played a significant role in supporting this education goal through our partnership with the Myungsung Medical College (MMC), by expanding residency and comprehensive subspecialty care training, as well as working to secure grants for the provision of equipment needed to train ophthalmologists.
Research is an integral part of developing strong medical practices, as it grows personal knowledge, encourages discipline and provides data to determine and understand issues of importance in Ethiopia and globally. Our research has been especially fruitful, with the production with our partners of about 100 peer-reviewed journal articles since program inception.
We encourage collaborative research between Ethiopian doctors and medical students and other specialists around the world, and as we seek to identify and implement best practices in alleviating blindness in underserved areas. Sight for Souls will openly share our findings to benefit the global community and our research collaboration has already increased the amount of data that is now available relating to vision impairment in Sub-Saharan Africa.