Mali : a model programme for comprehensive eye care

A big thank you to our technical and financial partners (individuals, lenders and businesses).

Thanks to them, from now on close to half the population of Mali will have sustainable access to the prevention, screening and treatment of the main blindness-causing diseases.

The OPC’s Executive Director, Dr. Karim Bengraïne, recently returned from a week-long mission to Mali and has produced a report on our comprehensive eye care services in three of the country’s regions.

I am impressed by the results obtained. When you look at the results, I’m sure you will be too : in four years close to 110 000 ophthalmologic consultations have taken place, nearly 15 000 cataracts and 84% of glaucomas have been operated on, 100% of newborn children have been protected against neonatal purulent conjunctivitis, almost 5 500 children provided with corrective glasses !
(See the bottom of this page for all the figures from the appraisal based on the four year campaign)

What’s even more remarkable is that a cost recovery system based on patient participation will from now on guarantee the autonomy and sustainability of this programme... We therefore should have no further reason to intervene in these three regions, beyond carrying out an advisory role where needed.

(photo : an operation at Sikasso hospital)

This comprehensive eye care programme has affected over six million people, close to half the total population of the country, and now serves as a point of reference for the whole country as well as those neighbouring Mali.

In light of these excellent results, we now intend to develop a similar programme in the Ségou region. Located between Bamako and Sikasso, the region has not been carried along by the progress seen in the rest of the country. Everybody’s support is needed to ensure the long-term preservation of the sight of the men, women and children in this region who are threatened by blindness as they lack access to essential eye care.

This is why I am asking you to help us put in place a comprehensive eye care system, much like that which has worked so well in three other regions in Mali, which will allow us to bring up to speed equipment in eye care centres, improve the training of local health teams and to provide consumable supplies for two years (enough time to put in place and make efficient the cost-recovery system).

Be confident that your help is used efficiently :
- with a donation of 38 € (13 € after tax reductions), you provide 1 000 newborn children with preventative treatment against blindness-causing neonatal purulent conjunctivitis
- with 50 € (17 € after tax reductions), you finance operation on a patient suffering from glaucoma
- with 75 € (25 € after tax reductions), you give the gift of sight to three people through financing their cataract operation.

*Whatever you are able to give, you can be confident that your donation is invaluable for saving the sight of children and parents currently threatened by blindness.


The whole OPC team hopes to be able to count on your continued support. Thank you very much in advance !

Assessment of the four years of operation

The results that we have obtained demonstrate the full force of everybody’s generosity in sustainably preserving the sight of men, women and children threatened by blindness.

(photo : Dr Konyate at work in Kayes)
Following an evaluation carried out at the start of 2010, the OPC decided to extend its comprehensive eye care programme by four years in Mali’s Kayes and Sikasso regions, with the goal of consolidating the results already obtained and to extend its activity to the region of Mopti. A new evaluation at the beginning of this year highlighted the extent of the progress made, often surpassing initial targets.

Eye care :

- 109 083 ophthalmologic consultations carried out in four years, three times more than had been initially expected.
- 14 967 cataract operations, around twice the number hoped for.
- 84% of patients suffering from glaucoma operated on, close to three times the initial target.
- 100% of newborn babies protected from neonatal purulent conjunctivitis.
- 100% of congenital cataracts and glaucomas diagnosed at birth and referred to a national health centre.
- 5 448 children with refractive deficiencies diagnosed and given corrective glasses at the optical centre opened in Sikasso.

Training :

- 100% of general practitioners made aware of the need to refer diabetic patients to an ophthalmic centre for systematic diabetic retinopathy screening.
- 28 doctors, 320 heads of medical centres, 96 midwifes and obstetric nurses trained in screening for ocular diseases and the referral of patients to the appropriate service.
- 9 070 community health agents trained in the detection of reduced vision.

Equipment :

- 8 Eye Healthcare Units upgraded or created
- 3 Mobile Eye Healthcare Units : 4x4 vehicles carrying portable medical equipment to go and operate on patients in isolated eye health centres.

Raising Awareness :

- Thousands of radio spots broadcast to raise awareness of the prevention and identification of ocular diseases.

Autonomy :

- Implementation of a cost-recovery system through patient participation, assuring the programme’s autonomy and sustainability from now on.