Advancing Inclusive Eye Care: A Comprehensive Approach to Vision for All

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 2.2 billion people worldwide have vision impairment or blindness, with a disproportionate impact on low-income communities and marginalized groups. 

Working with vulnerable communities in Francophone Africa, the Organization for the Prevention of Blindness (OPC) works to bridge the gap in access to eye care services and promote equal opportunities for individuals, regardless of their socioeconomic status or background.

Together with WHO and other key global partners, OPC operates using a multifaceted, comprehensive framework that goes beyond mere vision, encompassing an approach that considers accessibility, cultural sensitivity, and education.


Understanding Inclusivity in Eye Care

Adopting the “Leaving No One Behind” approach, OPC works to remove barriers to access, such as geographical, financial, cultural, and physical barriers, to ensure that everyone can receive essential eye care services. Inclusive eye care is:

    1. Accessible: Ensuring physical access to eye care facilities is paramount. This encompasses making clinics and hospitals disability-friendly and leveraging telemedicine for remote areas. In the context of communities in Francophone Africa, OPC brings health care to underserved communities. In collaboration with partners, we work to treat and prevent blindness-causing diseases and provide sustainable solutions for eyecare capacity building.
    2. Affordable: All services by OPC are free of charge to the individuals we serve, thanks to funding from organizations like WHO and individual donors like you. Removing this barrier helps us better prevent and treat visual impairment.
    3. Culturally Sensitive: Cultural factors play a significant role in shaping perceptions of eye health and treatment. Healthcare providers are sensitive to and respect diverse cultural beliefs and practices related to eye care, particularly in Francophone African communities.


Raising Awareness: Promoting eye health literacy is fundamental. OPC conducts outreach programs, school screenings, and community training to promote eye health literacy, early detection, and prevention of eye conditions in underserved regions.


Integrated People-Centered Eye Care (IPEC)

Accessible, affordable, and culturally sensitive eye health is interconnected with overall health and well-being, requiring a collaborative effort among healthcare providers, communities, and individuals to be fully inclusive. OPC puts the patient first, providing quality, personalized care through: 

  1. Holistic Care: OPC addresses preventive measures, early detection, and management of eye conditions within the context of individuals’ overall health. Our programs not only treat blindness-causing diseases or conditions but serve to prevent – and even eliminate – leading causes.
  2. Patient-Centricity: OPC is dedicated to the individual, involving patients in decision-making, respecting their choices, and providing personalized care tailored to their unique circumstances. 


Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Engaging various healthcare professionals, OPC delivers coordinated and comprehensive eye care services, empowering local healthcare workers and community leaders through training and capacity building.


OPC’s Commitment to Inclusive Eye Care

In Francophone Africa, where access to eye care services can be limited, OPC is committed to participating in WHO’s community-based programs that involve raising awareness around eye health, training and empowering local healthcare workers, and integrating eye services into the existing healthcare system. Inclusivity is at the heart of OPC’s mission and we will continue to ensure the right to sight for all.