Somalia | Priority areas | Blindness prevention

Blindness prevention

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Somalis undergo cataract sugery at an eye camp in MogadishuMore than 100 000 people suffer from visual impairment in Somalia. Photo credit: WHO.                                 Blindness is a major health problem in Somalia. The estimated blindness prevalence rate is 1.2% and more than 100 000 people suffer from visual impairment. Cataract remains the major cause of blindness in the country. Other causes are corneal opacity, refractive errors and glaucoma.

WHO works in partnership with Manhal International and the Ministry of Health in the three zones to build the capacity of primary health care workers in eye care. It does this by training Somali doctors and providing cataract kits, and diagnostic and surgical equipment.

Currently, there are six specialist eye-centres within major hospitals in Somalia in the areas of Burao, Bossaso, Erigavo, Hargeisa, Laascanood and Mogadishu. A school screening programme has been introduced in Hargeisa and Mogadishu.

Related links


Regional control and prevention of blindness and deafness programme

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s)12 316
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 732
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 55.4

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

See Somalia country profile

Regional Health Observatory

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WHO Representative
WHO Liaison Office for Somalia in Nairobi
PO Box 63565