The foundations OCP and Althea conducted an ophthalmological and oral hygiene awareness campaign in Morocco from May 4th to 8th, in partnership with the Ministry of Health. 1887 children were screened and 177 provided with corrective lenses.
The main objective of this campaign was to monitor children whose eyesight was corrected during medical campaigns previously carried out by the OCP Foundation in 2014. In fact, regular ophthalmic monitoring is required for children suffering from visual impairments in order to allow them to continue their education in good conditions. Even today, many children leave school due to poor eye health in rural areas.
The two foundations have taken on this monitoring work. A partnership was formed to keep track of all children who received corrective eye care by medical caravans funded by OCP in 2014.
To do this, a team of ophthalmologists (members of the Ainy Association and residents in the ophthalmology department at CHU Ibn Rushd of Casablanca), opticians as well as a physician in the Division of School Health, was mobilized and was able to detect and correct the vision of children from eight schools in the municipalities of Tissa, Ain Beda and Ain Cheggag.
The glasses were manufactured locally in the Althea Foundation’s mobile optical unit and offered the same day to the children, who were able to choose the frames themselves. Oral health education sessions were also presented to 1887 children and oral hygiene kits (toothbrush and toothpaste) were distributed.
As a reminder, according to the WHO Vision 2020 program, uncorrected refractive disorders are the primary cause of visual impairment worldwide, and yet remain the most preventable. By 15 years of age, 19 million children present with a visual impairment and of these, 12 million have an impairment due to refractive errors.
In addition, the WHO says that globally, between 60 to 90% of schoolchildren have tooth decay; this rate is much higher in rural areas and among the poor and disadvantaged.
Finally, the OCP and Althea Foundation salute:
• The dedication of volunteer ophthalmologists, opticians and dentists- their expertise, time and dedication
• The participation of the Ainy Association through volunteer ophthalmologists
• The collaboration of the Department of Health of Schools and Universities of the Ministry of Health, which has supported the “oral hygiene awareness” aspect in collaboration with its partner Colgate.