Delivering positive social impact lies at the heart of our Kyosei philosophy of living and working together for the common good. To achieve this, we are empowering the next generation and bringing opportunities to those that need it most in our region. We are growing our social impact initiatives, with a focus on education programmes and supporting communities.
In Central African Republic, it’s estimated that 95.5% of blindness could potentially have been prevented or treated. Bangui’s dry climate has been a huge contributor to poor vision conditions such as Paediatric Dry Eye and Glaucoma. With so many children facing undetected vision limitations, it’s imperative that they have access to treatment and this is where Canon has been able to support the community. Our technology can make a meaningful and life-changing difference to thousands of children.
With limited healthcare facilities and eyecare specialists in the area, non-profit organisation Amici per il Centrafrica’s project Mama Carla's ‘Anna’ Eye Centre has stepped in to help and support the local fight against visual impairments. It is the only facility of this kind in Bangui and is supported by another NGO called ‘Amici per il centrafrica’. The admirable work at Mama Carla is being carried out by a senior technician in ophthalmology, an optician, and an intern. At the clinic, children suffering from vision disorders and discomfort are assisted with treatment including eye drops for artificial tears, corticosteroid therapy - which is used to reduce inflammation – and are provided with sunglasses that have been donated.
Through the years, Canon’s Eye Care Division with the support of their authorised distributor in Italy FE-Group have been supporting the clinic by delivering much-needed eye care devices to support the screening of Bangui children. By Canon donation, the Centre has accumulated a Canon Autorefractor, a lens meter, and a Full Auto Tonometer, which helps the screening and diagnostic of refraction errors and intraocular pressure in the eyes.
“I have been here for over three years, and I see an average of 45 children per day from new-borns to 15-year-olds. Poor vision can slow down reaction time and can lead to dangerous consequences. The eye is an organ that can easily be damaged so taking care of one’s eyes is crucial as it has a massive impact on the quality of life,” said Dr Ngondjhias Bonna Marie Nick, the optician who has been working at the clinic. Dr Nick said that increased temperatures and other environmental factors were also contributing to visual disorders in the area.
Christina Ceresoli, Vice President of Amici per il centrafrica said there was so much good being done at the clinic in Bangui, all thanks to the dedicated staff, volunteers, and the reliability and accuracy of Canon’s eyecare equipment.
“We are so proud to have created and supported this center because what they are doing is so amazing and inspirational. The staff have dedicated a huge amount of time to the children, and the parents and community are so grateful. We are extremely thankful to all the volunteers who have also stepped up and gone above and beyond to help make a difference in Bangui.”
Adel Bencheikh, Director of Canon Medical Eye Care said it was an honour to donate and support such an initiative, which follows Canon’s Medical “Made for Life”philosophy. He thanked Chris van Wijk, the Eye Care Product Manager who has been involved in this project for many years.
Tushar Vashnavi, Director of Strategic Planning for Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) said it was heart-warming and rewarding to know that Canon’s eyecare technology was being used to positively change thousands of children’s lives.
“We couldn’t be happier to know that Canon’s eyecare products are making a meaningful and life-changing difference to the children of Bangui, who can now work on restoring their sight. This initiative has really touched us and it’s humbling to know that we are living up to our philosophy of ‘Kyosei’- to live and work together for the common good,” he said.
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