Rohto Pharmaceutical


Aiming to overcome moderate to severe visual impairment in Ethiopia

Tyler Stableford / Stone / Getty Images

Rohto Pharmaceutical is committed to continuing to take on further challenges in order to promote the health of eyes all around the globe.
Rohto Pharmaceutical will work to overcome moderate to severe visual impairments (such as cataracts) affecting 5.5 million patients in Ethiopia.

October, 2020
Rohto Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Issues to be solved Eye diseases (cataract, trachoma, etc.)
Product / Technology / Service Eye drops, intraocular lenses, and other services
Approach Implementation of Eye Camp activities, educational activities related to eye care, CSR projects in collaboration with other organizations, service development and product penetration
Target country / area Ethiopia and other neighboring countries
Target year for achievement 2030
Scale of the business Not to be disclosed
Partner OUI Inc.
Relevant target of

3.8  Achieve universal health coverage (UHC), including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all

3c  Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing states


Ethiopia is one of the countries where vision-related diseases are the most severe, with approximately 5.5 million patients reported to be suffering from loss of vision or other visual impairments. Cataracts account for approximately 50% of the causes of loss of vision and visual impairments in this country, with other main causes being trachoma and glaucoma.

Challenges in access to ophthalmic medicine are faced by people in rural areas and/or with low income in particular in terms of awareness, prices, distance, etc., and many patients are said to suffer from loss of vision or visual impairment due to eye diseases which can be recovered from with early detection and treatment. Children account for 40% of the number of trachoma patients, and there is an urgent need for improving such circumstances. Loss of vision and visual impairments are considered to be significant social challenges which may serve as factors to accelerate poverty in the environments of countries with poor welfare systems, causing an “inability to see,” an “inability to receive adequate education,” an “inability to secure a place of work,” etc.

As a manufacturer of eye care products which has been earnestly engaged with health of people’s eyes for a long period of time, Rohto Pharmaceutical intends to contribute to the improvement of such circumstances and take actions to promote the visual health of as many people as possible.

Purpose of the project

Health is a fundamental human right, and our desire is to bring visual health and the joy of being able to see to as many people as possible.

With these ideas in mind, Rohto Pharmaceutical will deal with loss of vision, visual impairment, and other eye diseases which are local social challenges, along with the environments and social frameworks surrounding these diseases. We will cooperate with the appropriate partners in working toward a fundamental solution and will create businesses which contribute to local communities.

Detail of the Project (How can this project address global health challenges?)

- Conduct Eye Camps (ophthalmological diagnosis) and provide opportunities for examinations and education to people and regions without access to ophthalmic medicine, and at the same time, ascertain the actual situations and investigate the fundamental challenges faced by local communities
- Consider cooperation with NGOs providing cataract surgeries, cooperation with local ophthalmologists and provision of intraocular lenses
- Consider business potentiality bearing in mind matters such as frameworks for medical cooperation and distribution connecting regions with less ophthalmologists and medical equipment in particular
- Sell eye drops for cataracts, glaucoma, antibacterial purposes, etc.
- Consider a business model which enables the provision of products in a price range which makes it easy to distribute the products locally

Timeline or milestones by the achievement of the commitment, KPI for monitoring activities

- 2021: Investigate local challenges
- 2022: Conduct Eye Camps free of charge in Ethiopia
- 2023: Build partnerships locally and within Japan and consider a business model
- 2024: Implement a pilot project and disseminate products locally

Precondition for achieving the commitment

- Collaborative partners in Japan and overseas
- Service development partners
- Cooperation with NGOs, local JICA offices, the Japanese Embassy, etc.
- Registration of pharmaceuticals and other local permissions and approvals

Role and responsibility of each partner

Aim to create projects which contribute to people in local communities by combining OUI Inc.’s ophthalmologists in the field, specialized knowledge about the medical situation in developing countries, and high-level development capabilities in the field of ophthalmic diagnostic equipment with the front-line expertise, business development capabilities, product development capabilities, and experience in market penetration, etc. of Rohto Pharmaceutical

Contact information

Company: Rohto Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Person in charge: Fumiko Akojima, Public Relations & Creating Shared Value Office
E-mail: akojima “at”

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editor:All contents including photos provided by ROHTO Pharmaceutical