DONATE
Sightsavers Reports

Mobile phones help Boubacar to save sight

August 2014
Mobile surgeon Boubacar Fomba checks his mobile phone.

Sightsavers’ mobile surgeon Boubacar Fomba travels by motorbike to some of the most remote regions in Mali.

He has been trained to perform trichiasis (advanced trachoma) surgery in the field. When he arrives in a village he uses a mobile phone to collect information on affected areas.

For Boubacar, it’s a great way to collect information on his patients. “I think that the best thing about this technology is that there’s no data lost: we do it fast and easily,” he explains.

A way to stay in touch

By collecting data on a cellphone, Boubacar can keep track of the people he has treated and send the information in real time back to the National Eye Health Programme. The phone also means he can stay in touch with his wider team while he’s working on the ground.

 

A close-up of mobile surgeon Boubacar Fomba checking his mobile phone.

Gaining the trust of patients in Mali

The only issue he has faced is the lack of network in some areas, but the text messages are sent as soon as he arrives in an area with coverage, so the data can still be collected.

“When we started to work here, only a couple of people per week accepted to be checked,” he explains. “People didn’t trust us. Now we consult dozens of people per day, and people come to us because they were recommended by other patients. That makes us feel proud.”

Mobile surgeon Boubacar Fomba shakes the hand of patient Kany Doumbia following her trichiasis surgery.

“People come to us because they were recommended by other patients. That makes us feel proud.”

Mobile surgeon Boubacar Fomba shakes the hand of patient Kany Doumbia following her trichiasis surgery.

Your donation can help us save sight

DONATE

More stories

Sayon smiling, she is sitting outside in the shade.
Sightsavers Reports

Sayon’s story

Sayon suffered for many years with trachoma, which caused her eyelashes to scratch against her eyes. Thanks to surgery, she is now free from this painful disease.

December 2017
A group of people sitting on the grass. A man is leading a discussion and has a money box open next to him.
Sightsavers Reports

The savings group that’s changing lives

The Masindi Savings Group meets under a tree outside local council buildings in Uganda. But the unusual location isn’t the only unorthodox thing about it.

December 2017
Aklima clings to the bars of one of the windows in her home.
Sightsavers Reports

Aklima’s story

Three-year-old Aklima has cataracts that affect her vision. Her home is surrounded by water, so it's a race against time to treat her and keep her safe.

November 2017