OPC’s programs are designed in collaboration with Ministries of Health and country partners to ensure local ownership of eye health care systems and the continued sustainability of the programs.
Inclusive eye health lies at the heart of OPC’s actions. Inclusive eye health means ensuring eye care services are accessible and welcoming to all members of the community, including people with sensory, physical and intellectual impairments, and those with mental health conditions. It also means proactively ensuring that people with long term vision impairment access their right to wider opportunities in rehabilitation, health, education, livelihoods and social inclusion.
Investing in inclusive eye health is important because when you invest in eye health, you help improve wellbeing, success in education, and increase workforce and community participation. Good vision provides people greater economic opportunities for themselves and their communities, helping to break the cycle of poverty.
OPC works primarily in Francophone Africa, in countries such as: Chad, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Benin, Niger, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Congo.
Comprehensive Eye Care
Through comprehensive eye care programs, OPC combines comprehensive eye exams and comprehensive eye health care services within the existing health system.
OPC does this by:
- Training health professionals at the different levels of the health system
- Improving existing infrastructures
- Improving the referral system
- Establishing mechanisms that will guarantee quality and sustainability
- Focusing on the prevention of eye diseases through education and awareness
Comprehensive eye exams are a series of quality tests and an examination conducted by an eye health professional with a patient experiencing a vision problem.
Comprehensive eye health care services include eye health advocacy, blindness prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all relevant eye diseases and rehabilitation of those with irreversible blindness and low vision.
Through these programs OPC tackles issues like cataract and uncorrected refractive errors, the leading causes of avoidable blindness in the world today.
As a result of OPC’s programs, people have increased access to quality eye health care services and get eye exams, glasses and sight-saving surgeries, like cataract surgery, at an affordable cost. Health professionals get a better work environment and are more likely to remain in their positions and flourish, strengthening eye health departments and the country’s health care system overall.
#FORESIGHT School Eye Health ProgramOPC has developed #FORESIGHT, a unique investment opportunity to deliver comprehensive eye care and change the lives of school children and their teachers in some of the world’s most neglected communities. OPC implements sustainable school eye health projects in 17 FORESIGHT countries with Ministries of Health & Education and local and international NGO partners. Learn more about #FORESIGHT
Neglected Tropical Diseases
OPC’s neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) program focuses on eliminating five NTDs in Francophone Africa: trachoma, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths. These can all be controlled by the large-scale distribution of proven safe and effective medicines to people living in endemic areas.
OPC’s program is multifaceted according to the disease and the local country context. Across all NTD projects, OPC supports target countries to map disease burden, gain access to donated NTD medications, train community drug distributors and monitor and evaluate program performance and impact.
Of the five NTDs in OPC’s portfolio, trachoma and onchocerciasis can result in vision loss and blindness. OPC decided to incorporate three-nonblinding diseases – lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths – into its program because OPC-trained community drug distributors are able to deliver medicines to prevent these diseases as well as blinding NTDs, especially if the same drug treats both conditions.
To fight trachoma, OPC’s program also includes training ophthalmic nurses in standardized surgical procedures and collaborating with local stakeholders to raise awareness in communities about personal and general hygiene and to improve sanitary conditions.
As a result of OPC’s actions, people receive the treatments they need to stop disease transmission and surgeries to preserve their vision from irreversible sight loss.
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You can help the Organization for the Prevention of Blindness empower through sight in Francophone Africa.
Consider making a gift today. Gifts by check can be made out to KBFUS with “American Friends of OPC” in the memo section. Please send checks to KBFUS:
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At the Organization for the Prevention of Blindness (OPC), we chose to be a “glass house” to explain where every dollar goes. We owe it to you. Of every dollar we spend, 95 cents goes to preserving and restoring eyesight of the world’s most vulnerable people.