The Organization for the Prevention of Blindness (OPC) has launched #FORESIGHT
This is huge news. The Organization for the Prevention of Blindness (French acronym: OPC) has launched a new program!
More precisely a school eye health program.
We named it: #FORESIGHT
Since our creation in 1978, we have been empowering some of the world’s most vulnerable communities by improving their access to quality eye care. In 2019 alone, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we helped 7.7 million people benefit from the eye health treatments they needed.
But the fight is far from over. Did you know that, still today, only 1 in 550 children in Africa have access to glasses? As a result, many drop out of school discouraged because of poor performance since they can’t see the chalkboard or read their schoolbook. In turn this limits the children from reaching their full potential, which impacts not only their families, but also the communities and countries in which they live. This is unacceptable to us.
Here at OPC, we believe no child should be left behind when the solution is simple and inexpensive: an eye exam and a pair of glasses. That is why we felt the need to expand our activities with a school eye health program: #FORESIGHT.
Introducing OPC’s New School Eye Health Program
Through #FORESIGHT, we will be implementing sustainable, comprehensive eye care projects in schools in 17 African countries. Specifically, we will be working closely with Ministries of Health and Education as well as local and international nongovernmental partners to:
- Train teachers to deliver health education and perform visual acuity tests.
- Administer additional screenings provided by eye care professionals for at-risk children and school staff.
- Refer children to ophthalmologists as needed and provide necessary treatment and follow-ups.
- Ensure best practices for eye health in schools and promote awareness of preventable eye illnesses.
We’re Extending Our Reach to Change More Lives
With this new program, OPC is expanding its reach in Africa. While we have been mainly working in Francophone countries since our founding, we will now also be present in Portuguese-speaking African countries, including Angola and Equatorial Guinea.
We are also deepening our commitment to advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including reducing inequalities, enabling sustainable economic growth, and promoting gender equality. Ensuring all children are healthy will help them stay in school and thrive, contributing to the sustainable development of their communities. Additionally, eye care support in schools will give girls and women access to health services they are sometimes denied in their regions.
By 2025, we want to have:
- 6.9 million people screened
- 1.7 million people examined by an eye doctor
- 260,000 people equipped with glasses