Moran Eye Center's Outreach Work in Africa

South Sudan

  • Population: 11,562,690
  • Number of Ophthalmologists: 1
  • Blind Population: 10%

In 2011, the Moran Eye Center conducted its first eye camp in the fledgling nation of South Sudan. Diseased and malnour­ished patients walked for days through war zones to attend. The surgical cases were complicated and the conditions were inhospitable: temperatures soared to over 105°; the operating room was open to snakes, bats, and bugs; and the electricity cut off several times without warning.

In spite of these difficulties, the eye camp was a success. Skeptical patients who had been led by sticks into surgery walked out under their own power. Hope was restored to people who previously had none.

In 2012, with tribal warfare escalating, Moran partnered with the John Dau Foundation to tie health care to peace. In ex­change for a commitment to participate in a peace circle fol­lowing surgery, doctors performed hundreds of sight-restoring operations. The peace circle worked. With new vision, tribal members saw a new reality: an enemy can become a friend. 


  • Population: 25,758,108
  • Number of Ophthalmologists: 53
  • Blind Population: 200,000
  • Population Living < $2/day: 52%

For almost 20 years, the Moran Eye Center has worked closely with the Komfo Anokye Teach­ing Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, training surgeons and caregivers at all levels. In 2014, KATH opened its first-ever Eye Centre, one of only two eye hospitals in the country. Besides providing care, the centre trains ophthalmologists, nurses, and technicians from all over the continent. Moran physicians provide subspecialty training in areas like glaucoma and pediatric surgery. Through Moran’s partnership with the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Nepal, surgeons and ophthalmic nurses from Ghana also travel to Asia to receive advanced, hands-on training.


  • Population: 49,639,138
  • Number of Ophthalmologists: 27
  • Blind Population: 320,000
  • Population Living < $2/day: 88% 

After identifying access to eye care as a critical component in eradi­cating extreme poverty, the UN’s Millennium Villages Project asked the Moran Eye Center to partner with them to provide care and education in Mbola, Tanzania, one of the poorest areas of Africa. Especially in rural areas, access to eye care is limited, and Tanzania has high rates of cataracts and other blinding conditions. 


  • Population: 96,633,138
  • Number of Ophthalmologists: 103
  • Blind Population: 1,200,000
  • Population Living < $2/day: 77%

The Moran Eye Center partners with the Himalayan Cataract Project to provide training to ophthalmologists in Ethiopia. Ethiopian doctors visit the Moran Eye Center to learn advanced techniques, and our physicians travel to Africa to teach them how to implement what they have learned. Outreach program co-director Dr. Geoffrey Tabin has led more than 15 high-volume surgical missions in Ethiopia.


  • Population: 45,010,056
  • Number of Ophthalmologists: 86
  • Blind Population: 300,000
  • Population Living < $2/day: 67%

Moran doctors have been training physicians and residents at Kenyatta National Hospital since 2010. We teach everything from how to care for diseases that affect the cornea and eyelid to how to treat cataracts and glaucoma. Under our tutelage, Dr. Patricia Otieno has gone from being able to treat 10-20 patients a day to 40-60.