Context

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the risk of blindness in children is higher in developing countries with little access to health care. In Malawi, there are only 13 optometrists in the public sector for a population of about 17 million people. As a result, eye care is limited to surgical operations and emergency management of eye diseases.

 

Supported project

In 2019, L'OCCITANE South Korea and the L'OCCITANE Foundation renewed its support to Heart to Heart International in order to keep on promoting eye health in Malawi. 

This year the project provided eye-screening and treatment including glasses and surgery services in 146 primary schools. In addition, basic eye health was teached to teachers in order to ensure the sustainability of school children's eye health. 

As a result of the project, many students were screened and treatments were provided such as eye drops for cunjunctivitis and eye glasses to address refractive errors. Some of the students were able to received different types of eye surgeries at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and a surgical machine was even bought, allowing many operations and care to come.

Some figures

 

Budget 61.580 euros

Results 934.976 beneficiaries

History

Project supported since 2017

In 2017, the L’OCCITANE Foundation and L’OCCITANE South Korea supported the Heart to Heart International project in Tanzania to conduct a school-based eye health improvement project in Mtwara, Tanzania. At that time, 124 Masasi primary schools and 94 Nanyumbu primary schools were involved

In 2018, the project was expanded to other schools in the region and in Malawi. The project aimed to provide eye screenings, eyeglasses and surgery in 146 primary schools across the country. The staff of the schools concerned was also trained in basic knowledge of eye health and pathologies.

Total budget 149.380 euros

Results 1.540.224 beneficiaries

Testimonial

"My daughter started having sight problems when she was born. When she grew a little, we noticed there was something white in her eye. We thought it would disappear in time, but it didn't. When she started school, she was told to sit in the classroom's front row and when she read books, she had to hold them right up to her eyes as she couldn't see clearly. We took her to the village clinic and they told us to take her to the regional hospital (Ligula), but I wasn't able to. It was a real problem, especially in the evening when there was no daylight, because she was struggling to move around the house. One day, the school called me in and eye doctors were there. They said my daughter had a cataract and needed surgery to get back her eyesight. I was scared because I couldn't afford surgery, but they said all the costs would be covered, including transport and accommodation. I was so happy that my daughter could see again and continue her studies. I've now got hope for her future once more."

Mum of Saumu Abdallah (Dihimba Primary School, sixth year)

Prévention des maladies oculaires en milieu scolaire au Malawi et en Tanzanie