Burundi is a strikingly beautiful country, with soaring mountains and stunning lakes, and is home to some of the world’s best coffee. However, decades of instability have taken a toll on the country’s development.

A brief introduction to Burundi

After 12 years of civil war, Burundi has been left with many scars. The country’s dense population mostly live in rural areas that have limited access to medical and eye health services. In fact, the population is so jam-packed, there are 312 people per square kilometre, the second highest population density in sub-Saharan Africa.
While Burundi’s economic growth is improving, it’s still one of the world’s poorest countries. Ongoing instability means there’s a knock-on effect on the development of the country and improving the lives of its people.

What are the eye health problems?

According to a blindness survey in the north region of Burundi, 62.5% of blindness is avoidable and cataract is the primary cause of blindness. Due to eye health services not being a part of the national health system, many people living in poverty don’t have access to basic eye health screenings and treatment.

The lack of national services means the private sector has begun to boom, with small optical units popping up all over the country. While it’s a positive thing that optical eye care services have become readily available, these are still mostly only accessible by those who can afford it. This sadly means that many people remain blind when they don’t need to be.

The Foundation's programs in Burundi

We’re currently working in the four most remote provinces of Burundi: Cankuzco, Ruyigi, Rutana and Makamba. The Foundation is trialling a new project with the private sector and our partners to deliver eye screenings and cataract surgeries for people in these underserved areas.

We're making significant progress 

Thanks to some great work with our partners, we achieved a lot in 2022 in some of our key strategic areas.

In-country programs
  • Screened 598 people
  • Performed 587 eye operations and treatments,  including 194 cataract operations, 393 other sight saving or improving interventions
Research, training and technology
  • Educated 1,730 school children and community members in eye health and sanitation
$150 can restore sight
$150 can restore sight

$150 can restore sight

Help us end avoidable blindness