Preserving children’s sight
The number of blind children worldwide is almost 1.4 million. Approximately three quarters of blind children in the world live in the poorest regions of Africa and Asia. However one case out of every 8 blind children could be avoided !
PROTECT BABIES FROM PURULENT NEONATAL CONJUNCTIVITIS
Blind in 5 days !
In some countries such as Mali, purulent neonatal conjunctivitis continues to affect 1 in every 15 new-born babies. This form of conjunctivitis is particularly serious and is caused by germs transmitted during birth. It is characterised by a discharge from the eye which occurs within the first few days after birth. Then the eyelids swell to a point where they can no longer open their eyes. In 2 or 3 days the inflammation causes a (sometimes bloody) purulent discharge. From the 4th or 5th day the ulceration is such that it can cause corneal perforation causing total and irreversible blindness. The infection can spread resulting in deadly septicaemia. However, there is a simple and inexpensive preventative treatment…
The OPC is working in Mali to prevent purulent conjunctivitis :
The OPC has already trained over 1,000 traditional midwives and supplied them with ointment in the regions of Kayes and Sikasso so that they can protect the new-born children from purulent neo-natal conjunctivitis by :
Cleaning the babies’ eyes with saline or boiled water
Applying antibiotic ointment to each eye. The cost of this preventative treatment, per baby, is just 0.038€.
… and to treat it :
We have also opened 13 eye care centres and trained 16 specialist nurses to diagnose and treat children as soon as the first symptoms of purulent conjunctivitis appear, with :
Intramuscular injection of antibiotics
Careful cleaning of the eyes and regular application of antibiotic ointment for 10 days. The cost of the treatment per baby is 63€.
Thanks to our generous donors we have been able to protect and treat more than 50,000 new born babies threatened by purulent conjunctivitis in 2010.
Our objective in 2011 is to widen our activities to the region of Mopti, where this plague continues to affect 1 in every 15 babies. You can help us to save the sight and lives of new-born babies : making a donation of €38 would pay for treatment to protect 1,000 new-born babies from purulent neo-natal conjuctivitis !
To learn more about neo-natal conjunctivitis click here
DIAGNOSING AND CORRECTING SIGHT DEFECTS
Abnormalities are often synonymous with academic failure. Visual abnormalities are often synonymous with dropping out of school. Refractive errors such as myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism are the main cause of visual deficiencies amongst children aged 5-15. Without being corrected, the children from the poorest backgrounds are often excluded from school, perpetuating this vicious circle of insecurity.
The OPC’s programme
In Comoros, the OPC has already begun raising awareness to primary school teachers as well as training mobile teams to detect sight abnormalities within schools. The OPC has provided each region with an ‘optical workshop’ for students that need their glasses adjusted.
The next step will be the expansion of screening and refractive error correction in 3 regions of Mali (Sikasso, Kayes and Mopti), in partnership with Lions Club International’s SightFirst programme.
Thousands of students will benefit from corrected vision from 2011. Please help us to offer better vision and a brighter future to students threatened with academic failure and exclusion :