Universal Health Project, the Rural Community of Dialakoto, Senegal.
The Etnia Barcelona Foundation firmly believes that Visual Health should be a fundamental right in any society and so works to foster the fair, sustainable and responsible distribution of the resources required to guarantee adequate eye care. Good eyesight is essential to proper physical and educational development.
The Etnia Barcelona Foundation launched its Visual Health Programme to support and reinforce the Universal Health Project and help encourage even more families to join it.
Our Visual Health Programme is a part of the Universal Health Project, an initiative of the Spanish Cooperation Association Fallou ONGD for the Rural Community of Dialakoto. The idea of the project is to establish a Local Health Cooperative, funded by local contributions, to offer the community a small-scale Universal Health Care System and guarantee the population access to an efficient, high quality primary care centre.
In addition to offering free year round care to the local population (early diagnosis and treatment of such serious diseases as Malaria, with a view to radically reducing mortality rates), it seeks to reduce the cost of medication and provide an ambulance service for the urgent transfer of the most seriously ill patients to the General Hospital in Tambacounda.
To guarantee the durability and autonomy of the programme, a progressive system of contributions has been established to cover as broad a range of contributors as possible with a view to covering the fixed costs of the service while continuing to invest in the constant improvement of the care on offer.
The ideas is to get as many of the townships in the Community as possible to sign up to the Cooperative, and that way the Senegalese Ministry of Health will assign a fully qualified doctor to the programme and cover his/her salary.
Viladecans Town Council, in addition to offering financial support to the Universal Health Project and the expedition, alongside the Fallou NGO and Viladecans Hospital, joined the expedition we ran from November 6-13.
Carmen Sanz, an optometrist who works at the Viladecans Hospital and Francisco Ronda, an optometrist who works at diverse medical centres, as well as at the optician Óptica Ronda, supported us by carrying out the optometric tests we gave to a large part of the Dar Salam population, 150 adults in all, and at the schools in the townships of Dar Salam and Niemenike, covering a total of 450 boys and girls aged between 4 and 16 years of age, as well as all of the teachers at the schools.
In all we found 60 cases that required prescription glasses.
The goal of the project is to positively impact on the lives of Senegalese boys and girls who otherwise would not have access to any visual care of health facilities, whether because they live too far away from a health centre or because of the cost.
Thanks to ESSILOR-SIVO-SENEGAL (part of the ESSILOR CSR policy and initiative) for their support of the expedition, for which they furnished the lenses, fitted them to the frames and delivered the glasses to the Senegalese children. Thanks for giving these boys and girls the chance to enjoy enhanced eyesight. Thanks too to Mohamed Agrebi for your professionalism and generosity.
And thanks too to all of the team from Viladecans Town Council, most especially Olga Morales, Rosa Gallardo and Richard Calle, to Israel from the NGO Fallou, to Maika and Paco for their professionalism and to all of the people in Dar Salam who took us in and made us feel welcome with their abounding warmth and enthusiasm.