Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! As we enter 2021, the team at OPC is optimistic and looks forward to another year of impact, saving sight in the most vulnerable communities in Francophone Africa. Although the challenges of 2020 have not completely disappeared, we at OPC have remained committed to our mission, ensuring the human right to sight by providing local research, treatments and cures for people affected by blindness and blinding diseases.
2021 Priority Projects
First and foremost, our goal is to resume program service delivery in areas that were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Health Organization, rates of unaddressed near vision impairment are greater than 80% in western, eastern and central sub-Saharan Africa. If left untreated, the causes of the type of vision impairment – like cataract, trachoma, glaucoma and uncorrected refractive errors – can lead to permanent blindness. In today’s context, the cost of inaction is too great for millions of people in Francophone Africa, and OPC is dedicated to ensuring that the most vulnerable communities have access to sight-saving treatments.
Our priority projects for this year cover the core areas of OPC’s work: avoidable blindness and blinding diseases, comprehensive eye care, school eye health, and neglected tropical diseases. These projects include:
- Trachoma. We will resume our surgical activities and monitoring projects, as we work to eliminate trachoma in Chad and the Central African Republic.
Did you know that Morocco and Ghana are the only two countries in Africa that have eliminated trachoma? Great progress has been made in Chad, and through the combined efforts of local and international partners, OPC is hopeful that Chad will be added to this list of countries soon.
- Onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis. We will resume our deworming program in Chad and Congo (Brazzaville), to treat those suffering from onchocerciasis, or river blindness. We will also continue our onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis program in Chad, DRC and the Central African Republic as part of our focus on neglected tropical diseases.
Learn more about OPC’s fight against neglected tropical diseases.
- Cataract. We will assist one of our local partners in Madagascar, the Madagascar Lions Clubs Eye Clinic, with making its cataract program more sustainable and with digitalizing its activities.
- #FORESIGHT. We will source in-kind donations of glasses for children in Chad as part of our school eye health program.
As always, we will continue to develop new initiatives and projects with our partners, including local civil society organizations, Ministries of Health, governmental aid institutions and international nonprofit organizations.
Sign up for OPC’s newsletter to stay up to date on the latest news and activities from OPC throughout the year.