According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 26.3 million people in Africa had a form of visual impairment in 2019. Among those, 5.9 million were blind. And 80% of those cases of blindness were preventable and treatable.
Hard to believe, right?
The fact is, the lack of access to eye care in Africa is a major issue that affects not only people’s lives, but also the sustainable development of their communities as a whole. If children drop out of school because their eye condition isn’t treated, they can’t learn and gain the skills they need to thrive and contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty.
OPC: Over 40 Years of Protecting the Right to Sight
That’s why, since 1978, the Organization for the Prevention of Blindness (French acronym: OPC) has been working to provide local research, treatments and cures for people affected by blindness and blinding diseases in Francophone Africa — a region frequently overlooked by international development stakeholders.
We run unique programs in nine countries, partnering with their Ministries of Health, to:
- ensure the human right to sight,
- reduce the burden of eye conditions and vision impairment,
- and work towards universal health coverage.
OPC’s 2019 Impact
So much positive change is happening every year! Take a look at our impact in 2019:
- More than 3 national action plans for eye health prepared
- 8 national eye health programs supported
- 9 fellowships in ophthalmology awarded
- 120 hand washing devices installed in schools
- 1,516 uncorrected refractive errors corrected
- 5,262 cataract surgeries operated
- 6,480 cases of trachoma complications operated
- 30,565 ophthalmic consultations done
- 1,928,576 children treated against schistosomiasis and helminthiasis
- 2,555,378 people treated against onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis
Sustainable Programs for Sustainable Impact
Our programs are designed to reach out to as many people as possible and, most importantly, they are designed for sustainable impact. At OPC, we make sure to pass on specific knowledge to create lasting change, by training health workers at all levels and improving medical structures and equipment. We want communities to be independent and empowered.
This wouldn’t be possible without our amazing donors and supporters! If you, too, envision a world where no one is left behind, please join the OPC by making a gift today.