The fruitful cooperation between Helen Keller International and MINESEC gives rise to an ophthalmology unit
On Friday 01 December 2023, The Minister of Secondary Education, Prof. Nalova Lyonga presided over the inauguration ceremony for the ophthalmology unit of the school health inspectorate of the Regional Delegation for Secondary Education in the Centre Region, an achievement of the cooperation between the NGO Helen Keller International and MINESEC.
The ophthalmology unit inaugurated on Friday 01 December 2023 is one aspect of the cooperation between MINESEC and Helen Keller International. For about two years now, through the project BrightSight, the two entities have been working in screening more than 63 000 students for visual acuity, correcting refractive problems and providing eye glasses when necessary. This work is done in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. The unit is going to take care of both students’ and teachers’ eyes. Twenty students from some schools in Yaoundé (GBHS Etoug-Ebe, Collège Jesus Marie, Franky Comprehensive School, GHS Cité Verte…) were granted eye glasses during this event.
Earlier on the same day, Prof. Nalova Lyonga received in Audience Mr Volkan Hamit Cakir, Regional Director of Helen Keller International for the Central, South and East Africa. Together, they reviewed the state of their partnership. It’s worth mentioning that in July 2022, MINESEC and the NGO signed a memorandum of understanding aiming at preventing eye diseases in schools, preventing malnutrition in adolescents through nutritional education and promoting health. So, the audience was a kind of assessment of what has been done so far and a projection to further actions. So far, the NGO’s actions concerning eye problems covers mainly the Centre and the West Regions with as long run objectives to reach all the ten regions. The nutritional aspects of the programme already go beyond the two above-mentioned regions.
During the commissioning ceremony, Prof. Nalova Lyonga expressed her satisfaction of this achievement. She considers this eye-care programme part of her Clean School vision and calls it ‘the clean sight’. She advised students to take care of their eyes and invited parents and teachers to teach them how to do so. The Minister lauded the efforts of her collaborators in the implementation of the ophthalmology unit and instructed its follow-up. She particularly thanked Madame Bernadette Mbiah épse Sansi (DOVAS), and Dr Ndemba Sidonie Thérèse (Regional Delegate) whom she qualified as “passionate women”. Mr Volkan Hamit Cakir expressed his satisfaction as well stating: “Helen Keller is proud of its partnership with Cameroon.”
ABILAMEKOU BADJEL THEODORE