Prevalence and causes of blindness in Merhabete, North Shoa, Ethiopia


  • Tiliksew Teshome


Abstract Background: Baseline data on the prevalence and causes of blindness which are important prerequisites for prevention of blindness strategies are scarce in Ethiopia. Objectives: To determine the prevalence and causes of blindness in Merhabete Woreda (district) of North Shoa Zone, Ethiopia. Methods: In the year 2000, a cross-sectional, community based survey was conducted in 6 kebeles of Merhabete Woreda which have a total population of 23,000. Results: Among the 23,000 people screened 21,350 were available for visual acuity test and 225 blind people were identified giving a prevalence ratio of 1%. It is estimated that there are 1000 blind people in the Woreda. The leading cause of blindness is corneal opacity accounting for 50% of cases while glaucoma and cataract accounted for 27.7% and 11.4% of cases respectively. Ninety percent of the blindness is either preventable or curable. Conclusion: As in many parts of the country, blindness is a serious public health problem in this area, requiring concerted efforts to tackle the problem. Since 90% of the blindness is due to either preventable or curable causes, the burden of blindness can be minimized by employing strategies directed against the major causes of blindness. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2002;16(1):71-76]




How to Cite

Teshome, T. (2017). Prevalence and causes of blindness in Merhabete, North Shoa, Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 16(1). Retrieved from