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Abergavenny optician helps eyecare in Haiti

14 April, 2014
Tim Palmer (right) in Haiti with students from a local school

Timothy Palmer, a director at Specsavers in Abergavenny, has returned from a trip to Haiti where he carried out nearly 200 vision tests for local people and trained a doctor to carry out basic eye examinations.

Generous donations

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, and most Haitians never receive proper eye care treatment. Tim set up a test clinic and dispensing area at the OMS Health Clinic in Cap Haiti, and was able to provide 170 vision tests for locals and give glasses to those that needed frames.

Before his visit, Tim received a 250 generous donations of glasses from Specsavers and other optical businesses, to distribute to those who needed them most.

A ‘humbling experience’

Tim said: ‘Travelling to Haiti was a humbling experience. Eye care is something that we can easily take for granted, but in Haiti, people are suffering from real poverty and they do not have spectacles let alone access to eyecare. In just five days I tested 170 men and women, and provided 90 per cent of people tested with glasses.

Working with the local doctor to make sure that tests in surrounding villages continue was hugely important as I was able to leave a legacy from the visit.

I am now hoping to set up ongoing support to Haiti by continuing to send glasses to those who really need them.’

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