Eyes of the World

Eyes of the World trains local doctors and contributes to technical knowledge; conducts eye health campaigns about hygiene and early detection of disease; provides medical equipment and material to healthcare centers; contributes to the improvement of management systems and procedures for eye health; and raises public awareness about the lack of ophthalmological services in the poorest countries

Eyes of the World is a non-profit foundation that helps poor people with impaired vision receive qualified ophthalmological attention from their local health services. It also creates the conditions to reduce eye disease, and increases public awareness about basic healthcare deficiencies.

What we do

  • Train local doctors and contribute to technical knowledge
  • Prevent avoidable blindness through eye health campaigns about hygiene and early detection of disease.
  • Provide medical equipment and material to healthcare centers
  • Improve the visual health of people with ocular pathologies
  • Contribute to the improvement of management systems and procedures for eye health
  • Raise public awareness about the lack of ophthalmological services in the poorest countries

Where we work

1- Sahara

Created in 2001 as the foundation’s initial project, Eyes of Sahara works in the United Nations Saharawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria.

  • The Saharawi people have been living in exile for 35 years in a desert area marked by extreme hard life conditions.
  • Saharawi healthcare depends on outside help. There is only a basic healthcare structure attending to the population’s most elementary needs.
  • Since 2008, the camps have had only one ophthalmologist. He and about 10 ophthalmologist technicians who work nearby were trained by the Eyes of the World.

2- Mozambique

Eyes of Mozambique, started in 2002, is based in the Inhambane province and Maputo city, located in the south of this African country.

  • People in Mozambique live in poor health conditions: almost half of the inhabitants do not have access to drinkable water and life expectancy is less than 50 years.
  • Medical specializations are rare, in particular those not considered a priority, like ophthalmology.
  • Most provinces have an ophthalmological service, but not always an ophthalmologist. Most are concentrated in Maputo.
  • There are 180,000 blind people and about 720,000 with ocular problems, mostly due to corneal pathologies, glaucoma, trachoma, malnutrition, trauma and degenerative illnesses.

3- Bolivia

Eyes of Bolivia, initiated in 2003, take place in La Paz and the satellite city of El Alto, located in the west of this territory in South America.

  • Bolivia is the third poorest country in Latin America. It has enormous social differences, with natives and peasants as the most underprivileged groups.
  • Healthcare services are centered in primary attention and do not assist more than three-fourths of the population.
  • There are about 230 ophthalmologists in the country, and most practice in private offices in big cities.
  • Blindness and visual disability affect more than 400,000 people.

4- Mali

Eyes of Mali began in 2008 in the region of Mopti, located south of this African country, carrying out actions in the district of Bamako as well.

  • Mali has a very fragile economy, mainly related to agriculture and river fishing. The poverty rate is around 60%.
  • The capacity for healthcare services is low, but the demand is high due to the predominance of infectious and parasitic diseases and those derived from nutritional deficiencies.
  • The healthcare structure concentrates its efforts in primary attention. In the district of Bamako is the African Institute of Tropical Ophthalmology, a reference centre with training as its main mission.
  • The majority of ophthalmological services are concentrated in Bamako, with 65% of the country’s ophthalmologists practicing there. At the Mopti Regional Centre for Ophthalmology there is one ophthalmologist, two senior ophthalmology technicians and one eyewear assembly technician.
  • There are 150,000 blind people, mainly due to cataracts, glaucoma, trachoma, refraction defects and traumatisms.