Dr Borja Corcóstegui Guraya on behalf of Eyes of the World Foundation
To reduce the burden of avoidable blindness in Mopti through the provision of eye care and optometric training
The prevalence of visual disability in Mali is 4.98%. This not only affects personal and social development, but augments poverty and inequality. In the impoverished, unstable region of Mopti (2,037,330 inhabitants) approximately 22,500 people are blind. Public eye health services are scarce and inaccessible for many people, particularly rural inhabitants.
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the region, with 12,000 people awaiting intervention. This project therefore aims to increase the provision of primary ocular care and surgical treatment of cataracts among the population, along with providing training to eye health workers. Detection and referral for cataract surgeries will be carried out in local communities and medical material and equipment provided to health structures.
The project is aligned with the Integrated-People-Centered Eye Care focus adopted by the World Health Organization, by implementing eye care interventions based on primary care, which guarantee treatment, prevention, and promotion of eye health.
Project Update: 14 Technical Center Directors (DTCs) have received training on reducing inequities in access to primary eyecare services and 16 DTCs have completed a practical training course on Standard Operating Procedures. 31 health personnel were also trained on medical waste disposal and a medical doctor has been trained in ophthalmology. These trained personnel have now screened a total of 64,737 individuals, including 22,867 schoolchildren and 20,217 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at refugee camps. Furthermore, 1,926 cataract surgeries have been subsequently performed. As well as this, equipment and medicines have been donated to health centers to help improve eyecare services to vulnerable people. This initiative has gained sustainability through coordination with authorities, making a significant contribution to reducing the burden of avoidable blindness in Mopti.