Services We Provide

  • Eye care services
  • Water supply and Sanitation
  • Epilepsy care service
  • ENT service
  • Rehabilitation care & vocational training
  • Capacity building
  • Water supply and Sanitation

Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness in Central Ethiopia.  Poor sanitation and lack of clean water supply contribute to the spread of trachoma.   As part of its preventive strategy, GTM has seen the importance of investing on water and sanitation projects.

The water and sanitation (WASH) team of GTM develops water schemes for rural communities who still use unsafe sources to get water.  The team has adapted the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to improve sanitation and promote hygienic practices among the communities

  • Water supply

As part of the effort to prevent and control trachoma, GTM is involved in the provision of safe and adequate water supply as an essential component of the WHO SAFE strategy (Surgery-Antibiotics-Face washing – Environmental sanitation/ Education).

Since 2005, GTM has developed springs, shallow and deep wells, roof rainwater harvest for schools and clinics.  The water schemes developed are handed over to the community that takes the responsibility for the administration of the water sources and maintenance work on the supply system.

GTM has a maintenance workshop and has developed the capacity of rehabilitating failed water schemes.  The workshop provides maintenance services to the communities by providing spare parts at low cost.    

  • Sanitation improvement

GTM is involved in environmental sanitation.  It has adopted a Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to achieve the intended hygiene and sanitation practices by villagers.  The approach has been observed to provide a low cost sustainable sanitation solution for communities with poor sanitation infrastructure.  CLTS committees are formed with representation from the community leadership, health office and women group leaders.  The GTM sanitarians facilitate training sessions for the committees on CLTS concept and the implementation strategies of the program.  Each CLTS committee then forms CLTS sub-committees in each got (sub-division of a kebele).   

The GTM sanitarians, CLTS committees and sub-committees, HEWs and CHAs make regular home visits to educate inhabitants on the importance and need of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation to promote behavioral changes. The residents of the different targeted groups of families are then encouraged to construct pit latrines using locally available materials and to dig waste disposal pits.  To follow up the implementation of the CLTS activities, the teams make regular home visits.  They check if traditional pit latrines have been constructed at each household and if personal/home hygiene and environmental sanitation has improved by the residents.

Eye care services

  • Center based service
  • Outreach service
  • Optometry service
  • Trachoma control
  • Health education
  • Capacity building

Among the rural communities in Ethiopia, information about blindness and eye diseases is very limited.  Since the establishment of GTM, importance has been given to health education in the outreach service and the base eye care centers. Health information is also given at public gatherings and market places.

The mobile teams reach out to the people to create awareness on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases in order to prevent visual impairment and blindness.  The government health personnel including community health agents and health extension workers assist GTM on educating the community. School teachers, women group leaders and community leaders are trained by GTM on eye diseases to help in raising the awareness level and motivating patients to attend the outreach camp or go to hospital.

About 400,000 people participate in the health education programs every year. More aggressive and effective awareness creation campaigns by the eye care teams in the rural communities gradually increased the number of patients screened and treated for eye diseases as well as the performance of cataract and eyelid surgeries.

  • Center Based Eye Care Services

The GTM eye care centers in Butajira and Batu/Zeway are mainly engaged in screening and treating eye diseases and providing optometry service.  In addition, surgical services are provided for cataract, glaucoma and trachomal trichiasis.  Patients with eye problems are self-referred or come from the GTM outreach clinics. 

Cataract, the leading cause of blindness, is given special attention at the centers.  Intraocular implantation cataract surgery is performed by ophthalmologists at both centers two to three times a week.

At the village level, active mobilization is done through Integrated Eye Care Workers, Health Extension Workers, Community Health Agents and Community-Based Rehabilitation Workers to convince patients to come for the surgery and to clear the backlog of cataract cases. 

GTM also collaborates with a number of charitable organizations and individual donors to sponsor patients to undergo the surgery.  The donors cover expenses of the patients, including surgery and other related costs such as transportation and accompanying relatives’ costs.

  • Optometry service

The Butajira and Batu/Zeway eye care centers have optometry service. Persons with vision problems are refracted by optometrists and trained ophthalmic nurses at the base centers and outreach camps. 

  • Optical workshops

With support from ORBIS International and Vision Aid Overseas, GTM established optical workshop in Butajira in 2003.  VAO assisted in the establishment of a second optical workshop in Batu/Zeway eye care center in 2009/10.  The GTM optical workshops at both centers produce low-cost spectacles for internal and external needs.  The workshops receive most of the raw materials (frames, lenses, etc.) and equipment’s from Vision Aid Overseas, a charity based in the UK.

  • Vision Aid Overseas direct service

Since 2003, Vision Aid Overseas UK, has been sending teams of professional volunteers, including optometrists and dispensing opticians every year.  They provide training to optometry technicians, dispensers and ophthalmic nurses. The teams work alongside GTM’s optometrists on outreach camps around Butijira and Batu areas to provide their services to the communities.  The optical workshops produce readymade spectacles to be used at the outreach clinics. Patients requiring special eyeglasses go to the base centers in Butajira and Batu/Zeway.

  • School children refraction

The GTM mobile eye care teams including optometrists visit schools in the ten operational Woredas of GTM to screen schoolchildren for eye diseases.  Their visual acuity is checked to detect cases of poor vision. Many school children were given corrective eyeglasses free of charge whenever free frames and lenses are donated to GTM.

  • Health education

Within the rural communities in Ethiopia, information about blindness and eye diseases is very limited.  Since the establishment of GTM, importance has been given to health education in the outreach service and the base eye care centers. Health information is also given at public gatherings and market places. 

The mobile teams reach out to the people to create awareness on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases in order to prevent visual impairment and blindness.  The government health personnel including Health Extension Workers and Community Health Agents assist GTM on educating the community.  School teachers, Women Group Leaders and community leaders are trained by GTM on eye diseases to help in raising the awareness level and motivating patients to attend the outreach camp or go to hospital.  IEC materials are produced and distributed for awareness raising purpose.

About 400,000 people participate in the health education programs every year. More aggressive and effective awareness creation campaigns by the eye care teams in the rural communities gradually increased the number of patients screened and treated for eye diseases.

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