A team of local opticians travelled to Ghana this month, armed with 4,000 pairs of specs, to run nine days of eye clinics in a region where few people have access to glasses.
Thousands of specs dispensed
Seven optical specialists from Specsavers stores in Hinckley, Lutterworth, Wigston and Leicester made the journey to the Ghanaian village of Gyetiase, where they carried out 1,842 eye tests and handed out nearly 3,000 pairs of glasses to people who needed them.
The optical team worked alongside Ghanaian optometrists, translators and helpers to manage the crowds of people who came each day for an eye test.
The Specsavers stores collect specs donated by customers which are sorted by prescription, ready to be dispensed on trips like this. The trip is completely self-funded by the opticians and in association with the Ashanti development project which exists to relieve poverty and promote health and development in and around the Ashanti region of Ghana.
Making a difference
Director at Specsavers in Hinckley and Lutterworth, Ab Roy, who is also an Ashanti volunteer specialist in the UK, said: ‘This is my fifth visit to Ghana as part of this project. It’s estimated that 95% of people that need glasses in Ghana don’t have access to affordable eye care services and glasses, so it was great to see the villagers wearing their specs proudly and to be able to make such a huge difference for some people.
‘We were able to fit a pair of glasses for one gentleman who needed a +10.00 prescription, which is really life-changing.
‘The mayor of Nsuta came to Gyetiase to officially open the charity eye mission and word had certainly got around about our visit, as there were crowds and real excitement when the clinic launched.
‘It wasn’t all about eyes, we also found time to visit a local school with gifts for the children.
‘The time absolutely flew by and we’re all looking forward to the next trip already. We’re asking all our customers to please continue to donate your old specs, we wouldn’t be able to do it without them, so thank you.’
The Specsavers team consisted of Ab Roy, optometrist director at Specsavers in Hinckley and Lutterworth. Jal Khan, director of property for Specsavers UK, ROI and Spain. Kay Chotai, optometrist director at Specsavers in Wigston. Danisha Pancholi, optometrist at Specsavers in Leicester. Rajni Gorania, locum optometrist at Specsavers. Ameeta Mistry, dispensing optician and manager at Specsavers in Leicester, and Akshar Patel, dispensing optician and assistant manager at Specsavers in Hinckley.