Gondar (Ethiopia) Eye Surgery

Our track record

Our principle in 2003 was that you don’t need to be trained at length in every nuance of ophthalmology to be able to treat or prevent 80 to 90% of blindness in Ethiopia. Relevant Ethiopian people were available in the sub doctor grade waiting to be trained, motivated and offered good facilities.


  • After discussion with Gondar University and the Federal Ministry of Health, GEES wrote a Project Proposal to train nurses to be cataract surgeons on a BSc course at the University. At the Vision 2020 meeting in Addis Ababa in 2004 this was labelled the most important present development in eye services for Ethiopia.

  • GEES funded the writing of the curriculum for this course.

  • GEES funded two workshops to consider the curriculum and presented it to the University.

  • 4 nurse cataract surgeons graduate annually from Gondar. The same course has been taken up by Jimma, Awassa and Mekelle Universities.

  • Building on the success of the nurse cataract surgeon training, the University, with support from ORBIS, started Ethiopia’s first optometry course. GEES have contributed equipment and outside teaching for this.

  • GEES is actively exploring a secondary eye care unit at the underused hospital in Lalibella.

  • GEES is actively promoting a course in Bahir Dar for Opthalmic nurses. This is the first such training for an opthalmic diploma in Amhara region. We will provide text books and help with the teaching. Our concept brief has already been accepted.

  • GEES has, through Orbis, undertaken to build up the library and resource centre in Gondar. Computers are now in place waiting for the university to provide the connection. New library books have been purchased and more are on the way.


  • With support from Rotary we bought and imported two teaching microscopes with video attachment for Gondar University Eye Department and an additional out patient teaching microscope.

  • We have provided textbooks for the students on the cataract surgery course and on the optometry course.

  • GEES has provided instruments and consumables (lens implants and visco-elastics) for cataract surgery.

  • A 4 wheel drive Toyota vehicle has been purchased for the Gondar University Eye Department for them to be able to start some local out reach work with teaching for those in training.


  • After discussion with the university President, GEES researched and provided expertise and finance for plans for a new eye department.

  • The funds for the actual building were provided by Light for the World. 

  • This 24 bed unit is completed with an OPD, operating theatres, offices and classrooms and a dedicated children's eye clinic and ward.

Find out more information about GEES

Please contact:

Caroline Holt Wilson
Cefn Maen Farm
Usk Road
RAGLAN, Monmouthshire, NP15 2HR

Tel: 00 44 [0]1291 690428
Email G.E.E.S

Reg Charity No: 1101246

GEES the eye sight charity serving the Gondar region of Ethiopia
Charity facts and statistics for Gondar Ethiopia Eyesight
Child blindness in Ethiopia - Sandy Holt Wilson GEES
Child blindness in Ethiopia - Sandy Holt Wilson GEES
Child blindness in Ethiopia - Sandy Holt Wilson GEES