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Charity launches Ethiopia appeal

Eye care charity Orbis has launched an appeal to help eliminate avoidable blindness in Ethiopia.

The Vision for Ethiopia initiative aims to raise £226,000 by the end of this year, which will be used to treat sight-threatening conditions such as trachoma and cataracts. If the £226,000 target is achieved, Orbis will have successfully raised £1.5m during 2014 to help fund its work in the country, which has one on the highest known rates of trachoma in the world.

Trachoma was eliminated in the UK around 60 years ago, but it is still a leading global cause of infectious blindness. While it is a painful and highly contagious condition, repeated exposure can cause the eyelid to turn inwards, which can permanently damage the cornea, resulting in blindness.

Director of external relations at Orbis, Allan Thompson, said: "Because of debilitating eye problems like blinding trachoma, many children in Ethiopia find it hard to attend school. Orbis identifies and trains people in local communities, including teachers, to look out for the signs of eye disease.

"With the UK public's support, we can continue to make a difference in this country and ensure that children receive an education by providing access to antibiotics, glasses and surgery. By supporting our appeal, you are not only saving a child's sight, you're also giving them their future back."

For more information, visit www.visionforethiopia.orbis.org

(Taken From Optometry Today www.optometry.co.uk)

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