The OPC currently makes use of a health network which brings together 14,000 community health workers and several hundred ophthalmologists, GPs, nurses specialising in ophthalmology, teachers and field studies advisors in various French-speaking countries, predominantly in Africa. This network allows us to support 8.5 million people through training, distributing medication and providing surgery for certain ophthalmological conditions.
Since 1991, in collaboration with the national health authorities, the OPC has been developing training programmes for villagers in West Africa, so that they can distribute ivermectin ; thus enabling the prevention of river blindness, and also to enable the early detection of other causes of blindness by communities themselves. If, after examination, further care is required, patients are directed to the nearest equipped health centre.
In 2010, volunteer health workers contributed in this way to the preservation of sight within this community network spread over 7,582 villages. This programme offers close monitoring of eye health for more than 8 million rural inhabitants in Mali, Senegal, Guinea and the Congo.
- Ministries of Health from the countries concerned Specialist partners
- Lions Clubs International Foundation (Sight First programme) ;
- Maurel et Prom
The OPC’s respectful, effective and sustainable humanitarian intervention within communities means that it is universally known, recognised and respected.
Mobile Ocular Surgery Unit (UMCO)
In order to offer quality eye care to impoverished and marginalised rural populations, the OPC has developed a mobile strategy. The surgical team, composed of an ophthalmologist, a nurse and a driver, use a 4x4 to reach health centres which are isolated, yet equipped with a functional operating theatre. They bring with them a transportable ophthalmic microscope and all the necessary medical supplies. The OPC has created 7 mobile operating units to date.
The main objective of an UMCO is to offer treatment for cataracts. Operations are carried out in approved eye health centres, which provide qualified staff (specialist nurses in ophthalmology- ’ISO’s).
UMCO’s specialist resources :
- A 4x4 vehicle
- Equipment and materials necessary for ophthalmic surgery
- Sterilisation material
- Crew on-board the unit :
- 1 ophthalmic surgeon
- 1 nurse specialising in ophthalmology
- 1 driver.
- 1 ophthalmic surgeon
Where we work : Congo, Guinea, Mali, Moldova, the Central African Republic, Senegal, Chad and the Union of the Comoros.
Eye Health Centres
By way of example, the OPC has established an eye health centre in the Central African Republic, in a new building made available within the provincial hospital of Bria. Since the beginning of 2011, the senior ophthalmic technician, available on the premises, has organised daily surgery hours to identify and treat ocular conditions. Three times a year, the centre also welcomes the mobile surgery unit in order to treat cases of cataracts and glaucoma discovered during consultations. The cost of equipping the eye health centre in Bria : 22,500€ (transport included).
Head nurse, revolving table and some of the equipment (slit lamp and Javal ophthalmometer) which the OPC provided in October 2010.
Upgrading infrastructures designed to provide eye care : Data 2012
Through the partnership between Donka Hospital, the Conakry Urban Community and the OPC, the ophthalmological service of Donka Hospital was renovated in September 2012. In November 2012, the OPC installed new equipment, including an operating microscope, cataract and trichiasis kits, wearable magnifying glasses, diagnostic sets, an air conditioner and a generator. The service is open for consultation and for surgical operations.
Through the partnership between Siguiri Hospital, the Siguiri Urban Community and the OPC, the ophthalmological service of the Hospital of Siguiri was renovated in July 2012. The equipment, received by the Conakry Lions (Lions Club), was transported and installed by OPC in September 2012. The service is open for consultation and for surgical operations.
Taking into account the problems the country has experienced, the implementation of the program has required some adjustments : all the equipment and vehicles in the Mopti region – eye care units for Douentza and Koro and Outreach Surgical Units for Mopti - have been regrouped in Ministry of Health premises in Bamako.
Kayes Hospital, whose ophthalmological service was renovated by the OPC was given equipment, including Goldman Visual Field used to diagnose neurological anomalies given from the Ministry of Health premises in Bamako.
Central African Republic
Upgrading the premises before beginning the classes for Ophthalmic Clinical Officers at Bangui General Hospital in July 2012.