Our team of opticians has just returned from a successful trip volunteering for Vision Aid Overseas in Zambia.
Part of a group of five who raised €10,000 for the charity ahead of the trip, store director at Specsavers Dundalk and Monaghan stores Martina Kelly, spent two weeks in the Livingstone region of the African region.
During that time, they carried out 400 eye tests on locals and taught seven student nurses how to conduct eye tests, prescribe glasses and detect common eye diseases at a local hospital. This training, which is part of a three-part programme, enables these local student nurses – each hailing from different provinces of Zambia – to provide optometry services to the community, who would not have access to this level of healthcare otherwise.
Improve eye health services
Martina said: ‘In Ireland, we have access to excellent eye care but most people in Zambia are not as lucky, making it vital that we do all we can to improve their eye health services. Together with the other team members hailing from Specsavers Galway, Wilton and Bandon, we are very proud to have been involved in the training of these very appreciative students. To witness the delight on people’s faces when they could see with their new glasses is simply an amazing moment.’
With the help of Specsavers, Vision Aid Overseas provides eye care to people living in Zambia. Up until recently, there had been very limited provision for the one in four Zambians who desperately required it.
Specsavers stores throughout Ireland encourage locals to donate their old, unwanted glasses, to help improve the eye health of those less fortunate. Customers can get involved by dropping their old frames into their local store, which will then be donated to Vision Aid Overseas. With over 50,000 frames donated by Irish stores per year, Specsavers Ireland’s contribution is significant.