In Burkina Faso, one of the major problems in the prevention of blindness is the lack of qualified human resources, their poor distribution throughout the country and the lack of adequate equipment.

Eye health services are concentrated in the country's two major cities (Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso), which house only 25% of the national population. Rural areas are very poorly served in terms of quality eye care, for example, the country had 30 ophthalmologists in 2017 and only 5 of them practiced in rural areas. This means that in these areas, 1 ophthalmologist is responsible for more than 2.8 million patients (75% of the national population in 2017), a burden that is far from the minimum standard recommended by The World Health Organization (1 ophthalmologist per 500,000 inhabitants). 

In addition, at the 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 confidence and equipment.


Supported Project

In Burkina Faso, the L'OCCITANE Foundation supports the NGO Light For The World (LFTW) which supports the Ministry of Health in improving the eye health of the population. The collaboration with this NGO is mainly based on a training project for medical personnel in eye health, ,which began in 2018.

The project consists of reinforcing the skills and knowledge of health workers, mainly through basic training in eye health and specialization training. Scholarships are provided under the project to support the specialization of doctors in need. The project will also provide the trained agents with adequate working materials and equipment such as: computer equipment (computers, photocopiers, video projectors, etc.), examination and surgical materials and equipment (visual field, slit lamp, operating table, etc.).

This project will improve the availability and accessibility of specialists in the country and so the quality of care for the population.

Some Figures

This project began in 2018 and aims to offer quality care to the population through the training of medical staff.

Total budget (2018-2022) 565,930 euros

Goal by 2025 207,000 beneficiaries

History of the Partnership

Project supported since 2013

At the beginning of the partnership with LFTW, in 2013, the Foundation supported the specialization in ophthalmology of 4 doctors through scholarships at the IOTA (the Institute of Tropical Ophthalmology of Africa) in Mali because Burkina Faso did not offer a DES (Diploma of Higher Education) in this field. 

Since 2015, this collaboration has led to the establishment and strengthening of the training capacity of the first department of specialization in ophthalmology in Burkina Faso (Diploma of Advanced Studies at the University of Ouagadougou: DES/UO).

Today, the partnership with the NGO LFTW has expanded to include all agents involved in eye health, such as community agents, nurses, eye equipment maintenance agents, general practitioners and specialists, etc.


Budget : 139,800 euros / Result : 28,994 beneficiaries


Budget : 174,700 euros / Result : 36,954 beneficiaries


Budget : 140,800 euros / Result : 24,146 beneficiaries


Budget : 110,630 euros / Goal : 31,200 beneficiaries


"I'm happy that this tool was able to detect what was wrong with me. It meant that I could get proper treatment. I hope that it in the meantime I can make peace with this problem and stay positive." 

Hilari Nikiéma, a beneficiary.





Hilari Nikiéma

"Before the arrival of the free equipment, the situation was not easy. At the end of 2015, we did not have enough slit lamps and we were all using the same lamp. In this situation, we had to queue to be able to examine our own patients. people were forced to wait until we finished consulting their patients. The new equipment allows us to save time in consulting our patients. We are fortunate that this machine is equipped with a spy that allows the student to follow along and to learn how to recognize eye lesions. The supplies of consumables also allow us to fund the eye without worrying about the availability of the product within the hospital, to help needy patients…. All this can only make us happy !" 

Doctor Alassane TRAORE, a 3rd year specialization student in ophthalmology, like the other students of his promotion, strives to relieve and provide adequate care to the various patients of the ophthalmological service of CHU YO. The job of a 3rd year DES is to consult and treat incoming patients, hospitalized and to be a surgeon's assistant in the operating room under the supervision of teachers.

LFTW témoignage médecin

"This technique allows us to go faster, to have better results, and we encounter fewer complications the day after the surgery. In addition to the time savings we get, there is the functional outcome and the reduction in the use of inputs. We have learned a lot during this training in Magrabi (Cameroon), which will allow us to improve our skills."

Dr. Toé Roland Ophthalmologist received training in SCIS (Small incision cataract surgery). Previously, he was not sufficiently equipped to manage his patients' eye problems, including cataracts, and reluctantly referred them to other health centers. Thanks to this training, Dr. Toé learned to perform manual cataract surgery with small incisions. 

LFTW - Dr. Toé