Zambian optometrist, Chipo Mweemba – a graduate of the Dame Mary Perkins Optometry Centre – has called for improved worldwide access to eye care.
Mr Mweemba was speaking at the recent Visions Matters forum to improve access to affordable eyecare in developing countries, hosted by Vision Aid Overseas at the House of Commons, London.
Sharing his story, Mr Mweemba’s own career path was never clear. While working as an auto mechanic, he met a local professional couple who encouraged him to apply for a newly opened school.
Mr Mweemba found himself applying for the Dame Mary Perkins Optometry Centre, which is funded by Specsavers and Vision Aid Overseas. He recognised this as an opportunity to help people in his community.
Zambian eye care
On the streets of the Zambian capital Lusaka, Mr Mweemba encountered children that had dropped out of school due to poor vision and older people unable to read due to the high cost of spectacles. He wanted to provide a solution.
Mr Mweemba said: ‘It is more than just spectacles, it’s more than just diagnosing diseases, it is giving life back to someone who had lost it. It is restoring the joy and hope for tomorrow’.
Affordable eye care for all
Five years ago there were only two optometrists in the whole of Zambia. Now, every province in the country has access to eye care services including affordable glasses thanks to training centres across the country.
Vision Aid Overseas
For over ten years, Specsavers has been working closely with the charity Vision Aid Overseas to increase access to eye care services across Zambia. Our support for Vision Aid Overseas has enabled them to establish a College of Optometry in the capital Lusaka and 10 eye care clinics across Zambia providing vital services to over two million local people. To find out more about Vision Aid Overseas, click on this link.