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African trip is real eye opener

07 July, 2014
Specsavers Witney store manager helps provide vital eyecare to people in rural Ethiopia
Store manager Richard Goring helps provide vital eyecare to people in rural Ethiopia

Store manager Richard Goring from Specsavers in Witney has just returned from a two week trip to Africa to help provide vital eyecare to local people. 

Dispensing optician Richard was in Ethiopia with the charity Vision Aid Overseas (VAO).  It follows on from his visit to Botswana at the end of last year.   

The three-strong group (Richard was joined by two optometrists), helped train and develop local Ethiopian optometrists. As part of an outreach programme they visited three hospitals which were 150 miles from the capital.  They also visited a school and screened the eyesight of 160 pupils. 

Provided training and optical text books to locals to local optometrists

‘My first trip was a fascinating experience and this visit really built on that as we were able to go further afield,’ said Richard. ‘We took out training literature and optical text books as well as glasses that ranged from -4 to +4 prescriptions. The hospitals all have optometrists that are at university but we were able to help with their training.

Gave glasses to a chool girl who had never had her eyes tested

‘Another team had been out in January so we were there to review what they had implemented and came up with a few ideas of our own on how to improve things further. My most lasting memory is the -13 prescription we gave to a school girl who had never had her eyes tested before. Her reaction when she put on the specs was just fantastic.’ 

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