The Eye Care Project
Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. Eye care is hard to find, with only 13 ophthalmologists for a population of 18.4 million.
Lack of access to eye examinations or glasses affects educational chances and the ability to work for thousands of individuals. Without eye examinations, the opportunity to prevent potentially chronic eye conditions is lost.
- The global economic cost of lost productivity due to people with poor vision in the developing world has been estimated at 700 billion dollars a year.
- Refractive error, which eyeglasses correct, is the number-one cause of vision impairment in the world. It is also the second greatest cause of preventable blindness.
- 6 out of 10 people in the developed world wear glasses or contact lenses, or have had corrective eye surgery.
- 6 out of 10 people in the developing world are also vision impaired, but have little or no access to eye care or eyeglasses.
- In North America, the ratio of optometrists to people is approximately 1: 6,000.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, the ratio of optometrists to people is approximately 1: 8,000,000.
- In Burkina Faso, West Africa, one of the poorest countries on earth, the ratio of ophthalmologists (surgeons able to perform cataract surgery) to people is 4: 15,000,000.
For those who cannot see well, the world is much smaller and more isolated. Depending on their degree of vision impairment, daily tasks are more difficult, accidents more frequent, even life expectancies are shorter. Holding a job, finding enough food, learning how to read, and looking after a family may be impossibilities.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”
(Proverbs 29:18, King James Version)
- Educate people, organizations, businesses, schools and community groups about the problem of refractive error in Burkina Faso, and solutions in sight to correct it.
- Provide low cost corrective eyewear, including self-adjusting and reading glasses, to people in Burkina Faso suffering from poor vision due to refractive error.
- Train individuals and groups on how to deliver corrective eyewear outreaches in the country, including processes for eyesight assessment and dispensing corrective eyewear to vision impaired people in need.
- Seek partnerships, emerging technologies, and new eyewear distribution models providing high quality, low cost eyewear to people suffering from refractive error.
- Determine ways to make eyesight assessment and distribution of corrective eyewear sustainable while serving large numbers of people on a continuing basis.