|Work commenced :||1979|
|Nature of work :||Implementation of a comprehensive eye care system|
|Geographical areas concerned :||Kayes, Sikasso|
|Partners :||-Foundation : Mectizan donation program
SightFirst (SF 1194)
|2012 (in partnership with Lions Club of Mali/SF) :||- Onchocerciasis Control : 1,543,569 people treated in 1,594 villages.
2,663,090 ivermectin tablets distributed by 3,289 village health workers
25,000 ophthalmology consultations have taken place in 3 eye care centres supported by the OPC (Kayes, Sikasso, Mopti)
3,514 cataracts and trichiasis operations (special mention to the KAYES centre for its financial management)
|Aims :||- Continuing support programmes for the National Programme for Onchocerciasis Control in the regions of Mopti, Kayes and Ségou.|
Operation Yeleen in Mali (1979-1986)
Yeleen, which means “light” in Bambara, was the first programme to be conceived and executed by the OPC, and targeted eye health at the level of an entire African state, Mali. At the request of Mr Christian Monnier, visionary and founder of the OPC, an aid programme was developed in 1979 by Mr Ruy Rodriguez da Silva and Dr Marcel Chovet.
The programme offered :
National medical and surgical cover including :
- 1/ At a primary level : prevention, screening, primary health care and the implementation of a sanitary drainage system.
- 2/ At a secondary level : the provision of quality eye care (cataract surgery)
- 3/ At a tertiary level : IOTA (the African Institute of tropical ophthalmology) symbolised a great recourse regarding diagnosis, management, training and operations research.
Training (over a period of 4 years) : 6 Malian ophthalmologists and 12 specialist nurses.
Epidemiological and operational research applied to eye diseases.
Placed under the guidance of Dr A.D Négrel, the former Executive Director of the OPC, who was the soul of the Yeleen project and made it a great success, the programme - which was scheduled to last 5 years - ended in 1986. The cost of the programme amounted to over €1,676,000 of which €425,000 were investments. More than 1,250,000 consultations and 23,000 operations were carried out. The centres in Gao, Kayes, Mopti, Sikasso and Ségou were each equipped and staffed by an ophthalmologist and two specialist nurses. Progress was in full swing, and today the health care programme is busy as ever.
Yeleen was a total success and the programme has become the keystone public health ophthalmology in Mali. This success endures today to the utmost benefit of the population of Mali.
After the success of its first venture, the OPC has committed itself unreservedly, since 1991, to the fight against onchocerciasis in West Africa and later in Central Africa. This age old fight continues and the programme is now enriched by the inclusion of eye care at village level.
We are well on the way to eliminating onchocerciasis after 30 years of battle. More than 3 million people in 7,582 villages were protected in 2010 in 4 African countries, and thus will not go blind. Populations are now progressively returning to the most rich and fertile areas.