Today is Africa Day

In 1979, the first ocular health programme planned and run by the OPC was launched at a country wide level, in Mali. It was called ’Yeleen’, which means ’light’ in bambara. (find out more)
This success represented the cornerstone supporting ophthalmic public health in Mali. It is still in operation today to the great benefit of the Malian population.
Following the success of this trial, the OPC committed itself unconditionally to the fight against the 80% of blinding diseases and conditions which are avoidable : cataract, onchocerciasis (’river blindness’), trachoma, glaucoma and refraction errors.

The OPC currently works in 9 French-speaking African countries : Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Guinea, Niger, Central African Republic, Senegal, Chad and the Union of the Comoros.

Results from 2011 are now in, and they are very encouraging :
- River Blindness (onchocerciasis) :
approaching eradication after 30 years of fighting it. Over 3.8 million people have been protected in 7,582 villages in 4 countries (Congo, Guinea, Mali, Senegal) and thus will not go blind. Populations are returning to the most rich and fertile land ;
- Cataract : 9,800 patients have recovered their sight ;
- Trichiasis (a complication of trachoma) and glaucouma : around 1,000 patients have been operated on (in our ocular health centres constructed in 7 countries) and thus will not lose their sight ;
- Purulent neonatal conjunctivitis :

  • Prevention and care for all newborns at risk of contracting neonatal conjunctivitis in 4 African countries, via a primary ocular care approach,
  • Support of 13 ocular health centres : 100,000 ophthalmology consultations,
  • 1,000 traditional midwives trained and provided with antibiotic ointment,
  • 16 specialist nurses trained to provide emergency care for affected babies ;

- Training :

  • Community network of over 13,800 villager voluntary health workers, in the most isolated villages, trained for the mass screening for childhood visual impairment ,
  • 393 nurses and 80 general practictioners trained in the primary ocular care approach,
  • 2 bursaries awarded for specialistation in ophthalmology,
  • 29 TSO and ISO nurses specialised in ophthalmology in 3 countries (Chad, Niger and the Union of the Comoros), 17 of which continued their role after graduation,
  • A TSO course (superior opthalmic technician) was created in the Central African Republic.

In 2012, a TSO course will be launched in Guinea.

You too can support the OPC’s work

By telling your friends and family about us. Why not also make a secure donation online ?

For example :
- With 5€, you’ll enable a trachoma patient to receive the operation they need.
- With 15€, you’ll protect 150 people from the dreadful ’river blindness’.
- With 25€, you’ll fund the operations of three cataract patients.

MAKE A DONATION on our site

Thank you !