Two programs developed several years ago by IRIS Mundial make eyecare permanently accessible to disadvantaged people in Haiti, in areas where no visual service was available before. Last September, the Program for the prevention and fight against blindness (PPFB) in Limbe completed its two-year initial phase, while the PPFB in Labrousse finished a one-year consolidation phase. There is no doubt about the success and the relevance of the two programs; the testimonies and the great number of people who have benefited from the program illustrate that the need is still real.
The impacts on peoples’ lives
At the global level, 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured. Thus, cataract surgery or simply a pair of eyeglasses can greatly improve the living conditions of these people by helping them to work and earn money. “During the mobilization of the population, I met a patient with an eye problem who could not see well,” explained Mr. Emmanuel Mesidor, an employee of the program in Limbe. “After the nurse’s screening, he was prescribed reading glasses and sunglasses for walking outside. He came back later for a follow up appointment and said that his condition was better […] People thank us for the eye care services provided.”He also said that many patients want the program in the community to continue.
Over the past year, the Labrousse program has provided 184 eyeglasses (sunglasses, reading and prescription) and has achieved:
- 3768 screenings (schoolchildren and adults);
- 351 ophthalmologic consultations;
- 131 awareness sessions on visual health care and hygiene;
- 22 eye surgeries.
Over the last two years, the program in Limbe has provided 697 eye glasses (sunglasses, reading and prescription) and has achieved:
- 6581 screenings (schoolchildren and adults);
- 692 ophthalmologic consultations;
- 558 awareness sessions on visual health care and hygiene;
- 28 eyesurgeries.
IRIS Mundial has taken the decision to continue funding the two programs because of their success. These consolidation phases, which started last October, included new activities which will enable the PPFB to become self-sufficient and ensure their sustainability in two years. IRIS Mundial thanks its Haitian partners for their good work and their excellent collaboration in the management of the programs: the Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FODES-5) in Labrousse, the Center for Education and Integrated Development – Village of Hope (CEDI-VE) in Limbe, and members of both teams: Miriame Cadet, Marcelin Maxi, Nadia Bazil, Nelly Paul Djery Baptist MimozeDelzince, Emmanuel Mesidor and some volunteers. Thank you for helping thousands of people to better see the world!
WHO (World Health organisation).Visual impairment and blindness, [Online], http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/ (Consulted on November 9th 2015).
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