In Burkina Faso, visual impairment affects 25% of the total population (4.75 million people in a population of 19 million), and that population is still growing. The need for eye treatments is currently increasing more quickly than the ability to train and deploy eye healthcare professionals. There were 35 ophthalmologists1 in the country in 2017, and only 7 of them worked outside of Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso (the two largest cities in Burkina Faso). This means that in rural areas, where 75% of the population live, there is fewer than one ophthalmologist per 2 million people2, which make access to eye healthcare not just very difficult, but almost impossible. In addition, at primary and community levels, where most eye diseases can be prevented or treated, health workers still have very little knowledge on the subject and often lack insurance and equipment.
1Training for four of them was financed by L'OCCITANE between 2012 and 2017.
2The World Health Organisation recommends one ophthalmologist per 250,000 people.