Background Information | Jimma University College of Public Health and Medical Science
Background Information

The Department of Ophthalmology is one of the clinical departments that operate under the College of Public Health and Medical Sciences, Jimma University. It was established in the 1980’s by the Ethio-Italian cooperation as part of the prevention of blindness activity all over the country. Since then, it has made tremendous improvement in various aspects. The department’s main objective is training undergraduate and post graduate students, provision of total tertiary eye care at the static and comprehensive eye care at out reach sites & conducting problem solving researches.

Up until 2006, the Eye unit was housed in an imported prefabricated container. This has lead the university to take initiative to design and implement a comprehensive ophthalmic project in collaboration with CBM (Christoffelblindenmission) and LIGHT FOR THE WORLD-Christoffel Development Cooperation a German and an Austrian NGDO’s respectively, to alleviate the existing problems of infrastructure, equipment and ophthalmic work force and to address the training, service and research needs of the University.The training is funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation through LIGHT FOR THE WORLD.

Currently, JUDO has a new reasonably equipped and well furnished Tertiary Eye Centre, which has enabled the department to carry out multifaceted ophthalmic training and eye care service.

Since its inception, the Department of Ophthalmology has been involved in training of final year medical and health officer students as part of their under graduate program. Since January 2006 the department started Ophthalmology Residency Program and Bachelor of Science in Cataract Surgery.

Mission and Vision

JUDO has a mission of furthering excellence in the care of patients with visual disorders and prevention of needless blindness through:

    The provision of a comprehensive range of services for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of visual disorders;
    The provision of postgraduate training in Ophthalmology, undergraduate training in Cataract Surgery, and continuing medical education opportunities;
    Basic, applied clinical, and outcomes-related research into vision problems, reinvestment of revenues generated through the cost contribution and private wing for sustainability of the ophthalmic programs, and
    The development of effective partnerships with other sister institutions at home and abroad, donors, interest groups and agencies interested in addressing vision care needs in the country in general and in south western part of the country in particular


JUDO aspires to see Ethiopia free of avoidable or treatable blindness.

To this end, it strives to:

    Create a healthy productive society
    Create advanced, comprehensive academic health science with a campus culture of learning & discovery
    Produce skilled professionals, specialists in eye health who are able to deliver total quality eye care for the public
    Produce adequate number of Eye Care providers who are able to reverse the sad reality & promote eye health
    Provide high level eye care service to the community which is affordable & accessible
    Conduct basic research to answer our problems Values

Staffs at JUDO are committed to providing high quality patient care, education and trainings, and research within a spirit of compassionate and scholarly inquiry. JUDO maintains equity of the service to the people and medical professional ethics and loyalty to the profession.

Strategic Dirrection

JUDO believes that sight is only next to life. Sight problem is closely linked with other diseases & mortality. It has economical & social impact on the individual, the community & the nation at large. Care and restoration of eyesight is also essential to achieve the Millennium development goals [MDGs] as it contributes to eradication of extreme poverty & hunger and reduced child mortality.


  • Eye care Services (onsite and outreach)
  • Training
  • Research

Eye Care Services

 JUDO serves as the referral center for 15 million population of southwestern part of Ethiopia, and it is the only Eye unit providing secondary and tertiary eye care service for a catchments area of 15 million populations
    Provision of comprehensive quality eye care through the static centre and out-reach sites (Gambella, Mizan, Tercha, Bonga, Metu, Bedele, Limu Genet, Agaro, Omo Nada, Sokoru, Shebe,Tepi, Assosa etc).
    Inpatient Service: Eye ward with 48 beds

Dr Yeshigeta Gelaw talking to post-operative patients before removal of the eye pad at Gambella outreach
Outreach Service
Jimma University Department of Ophthalmology (JUDO) is also providing Outreach eye care services for people in the Southwest region of Ethiopia.  JUDO has also established collaboration with 6 hospitals in the Southwest region after discussions with management staff of these hospitals.  Consequently, clinical nurses were trained on primary eye care. The trained nurses are giving primary eye care in these hospitals and are also co-ordinating activities when outreach campaigns are conducted by JUDO.
The hospitals with which collaboration agreement was reached were:
From Oromia Regional State:
•    Limu Genet Hospital
•    Bedele Hospital
•    Metu Karl Hospital
From Southern Peoples, nations and Nationalities Regional State:
•    Mizan-Aman Hospital
•    Bonga Gebre-tsadik Shewa Hospital
•    Tercha Hospital

Here is the program for campaigns done in these Hospitals

 S.No  Outreach Center*                  Schedule**
 1  Bonga G/Tsadik Shewa Hospital  September and February
 2  Limu Genet Hospital  October and June
 3  Tercha Hospital  November and April
 4  Bedele Hospital  December and May
 5  Metu Karl Hospital  January and July
 6  Mizan Aman Hospital  March and Augus

* Depending on the situation, JUDO will also send its outreach team to other underprivileged areas in need of the service for provision of equitable eye care service in the regions and Ethiopia.
** Each outreach last for a maximum of 2 weeks (15days) and the specific dates shall be decided upon agreement between the outreach team leader and hospital CEO with the following exceptions:
•No outreach in the 1st 2 weeks of September - Ethiopian New Year
•No outreach in the last 1 week of December - Annual Budget closing week

Networking and partnership:

JUDO has established Links with:
1.    Department of Ophthalmology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Dr. Tilksew Teshome (Ophthalmologist/Vitreoretinal surgeon) from Addis Ababa University during his visit to Jimma University  Department of Ophthalmology as External Examiner for residents, Feb 2011

2.    University Eye Clinic, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany

  • Three JUDO staff have visited Munich and undergone short-term training so far
  • Two JUDO residents had  three month clinical attachment in Munich in 2009 and 2010
  • Two  professors from Munich visited JUDO and gave training to residents and staff

Emeritus Prof. Dr. Peter Boergen from Ludwig-Maximilians University during his visit to Jimma University Department of Ophthalmology for the 2nd Strabismus Training Workshop at Jimma, March 2010

3.    University Eye Clinic, University of Graz, Graz, Austria

  • Three JUDO staff have visited Graz and undergone short-term training so far
  • One resident had a two month clinical attachment in Graz in 2010
  • Four professors from Graz visited JUDO and gave training to residents and staff and participated in outreach eye care services

Prof.Dr Andreas Wedrich and Dr Yeshigeta Gelaw during the signing of cooperation agreement between Medical University of Graz, Jimma University Department of Ophthalmology and Light-for-the-World-Austria, June 2010, Graz, Austria

Profs. Andreas Wedrich and Bertram Vidic of Medical University of Graz at Jimma, Jan 2010
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Dr Martin Kollmann from University of Nairobi during his visit to Jimma University Department of Ophthalmology as External Examiner of the first Graduating class of JUDO Residency program, Jan 2010
The Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

  • Scientific research collaboration has been initiated

JUDO welcomes any local or international institutions and organization (GO or NGOs) who are interested in doing collaborative research, academic exchange programs or eliminating avoidable blindness in South-west Ethiopia
JUDO also welcomes experts in the field of ophthalmology who are interested to share their expertise to JUDO staff and residents and/or give clinical service to our citizens. 

Contact Information:
Dr. Yeshigeta Gelaw, MD, M.Med,FEACO

Associate professor of Ophthalmology

Head, Department of Ophthalmology

E- mail: dryeshi@

Office Tel: +251 471 121013

Mobile: +251 912 214764

Fax: +251 471 114484

P.O.Box: 378

Jimma, Ethiopia