Until 2015, Burkina Faso did not have a university curriculum to train ophthalmologists. With only 30 ophthalmologists, the country has fewer than 1 ophthalmologist per 3.7 million inhabitants in rural areas compared with 1 ophthalmologist for 500,000 according to the WHO.


Supported project

L'OCCITANE and its Foundation support the efforts of the NGO Light for the World (LFTW) to prevent avoidable blindness since 2012 in Burkina Faso.

The partnership with LFTW revolves around two main areas: improving the eye health system in the country and training medical staff.

Initially, L'OCCITANE financed the university degree of 4 Burkinabè students at the Institute of African Tropical Ophthalmology (IOTA) in Mali.

Then in 2015, for the first time in Burkina Faso, LFTW, with the support of L'OCCITANE, and in partnership with the Secretary of Heath of the country, opened the first ophthalmology department in Ouagadougou. In 2017, 15 students are studying this 4-year course.

At the same time, LFTW provides the material resources and supports the sharing of experiences with teachers from other countries, actions necessaries for the smooth running of the courses and for obtaining the ophthalmology diploma for the students. Through this long-term strategy, LFTW ensures that many doctors will be trained, thus facilitating access to quality eye care for an increasingly large part of Burkinabè. 

The project to support the development of eye health in the Center-Ouest region is oriented towards the establishment of a comprehensive and quality eye care system accessible to all the population in this region of Burkina Faso.

In partnership with the Ministry of Health, this regional program provides for the first time a truly integrated strategy to fight avoidable blindness.

Developed jointly by regional and national actors from government and eye health actors, the program is initially deployed in the central-west region. The hospital in Koudougou has been hosting this pilot project since 2016, as well as several dispensaries in the region: treatment and surgery for patients with eye diseases, training for medical staff, deliveries of medical supplies, awareness campaigns are all activities carried out for the success of this project.


Some figures

The aim is to furnish complete eye treatments. This project also aims to spread those treatments at a larger scale in the country.

2019 budget 266 688 euros


Project supported since 2012

Total budget 1 104 066 euros

Total goal 123 118 beneficiaries


Dr Kaba, graduated in 2016 from the IOTA with the financial support of L'OCCITANE., 

"When I decided to study ophthalmology, I quickly realized the urgent need to work in the rural areas of the country, much more affected by visual impairment than in Ouagadougou, the capital." 


Bénéficiaires des formations de Light for the World