[CGD] Completion of the Blindness Prevention Project in Morocco
The Center for Global Development(CGD) of Yonsei Institute for Global Health held an project performance review meeting in Morocco on February 23rd to report the termination of the "2021 Blindness Prevention Project Using Portable Devices". Activities and achievements taken during the last 15 months were shared with the project stakeholders and thanked for continued cooperation in future plans. Many officials, including Abdelilah El Maari, the mayor of Rabat (Capital of Morocco), promised to actively participate in activities to improve eye health in Morocco along with the project.
This project is part of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Upcycling program, which repurposes older smartphones into the Internet of Things (IoT)-based devices for resource utilization and circular economy. Using EYELIKE, the portable fundus camera first attempted in the health sector, the project intended to improve medical accessibility in a cost-effective way of underserved areas which lack medical facilities and healthcare professionals. Since December 2020, CGD had provided eye screening services and medical treatment to Moroccan residents aged 40 or older, who are at high risk for eye diseases in a joint effort with Samsung Electronics and NGO Global Care.
To improve medical accessibility by reducing the travel time to eye care facilities, which previously took more than two hours, to within 30 minutes, we provided eye checkups at primary level such as public health centers and community health associations. Consequently, more than 1,900 residents got their eyes screened, achieving 127% of the target*.
Among the patients diagnosed with eye disease, 45% were diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, 32% with glaucoma, and 15% with cataracts. In addition to the examination, more than 350 patients were provided with appropriate follow-up cares*. In addition, medical professional and general medical personnel were educated on how to use EYELIKE to continuously strengthen the capabilities of on-site medical staff. A total of 30 portable fundus cameras were distributed to 19 health centers so that the trained personnels could continue its own eye screening activities even after the termination of the project. Samsung Electronics Maghreb Arab (SEMAG) will support the repair and management of devices.
This blindness prevention project showed that community-centered health services could work even in the COVID-19 pandemic situation. In particular, Many Moroccan locals, including the mayor of Rabat, highly appreciate eye care services provided to underserved populatoins with extremely poor access to essential health servcies. The CGD plans to continue international health activities to realize universal health coverage in many partner countries such as Morocco, Viet Nam, Malawi, and Bolivia.
*as of 28 February 2022
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