Specsavers and Vision Aid Overseas
Specsavers and Vision Aid Overseas’ joint commitment to providing eye care for all those living in Zambia has continued to make some amazing progress over the last ten years. Previously there had been very limited provision for the one in four Zambians who desperately required it, with just a handful of qualified optometrists serving the 12 million population back then, now over 18 million.
Over the last ten years, and as part of a in depth fundraising plan in partnership with the charity, Specsavers has to date channelled more than £1.6 million into the Zambian partnership and sustainable eye care.
400 Specsavers volunteers have tested eyes and dispensed glasses in Zambia and the partnership has enabled 108 Zambian students to graduate in optometry; many through the country’s first optometry training centre in Lusaka, funded exclusively by Specsavers.
The partnership has also supported 11 provincial Vision Centres to provide eye care services and glasses throughout the country, enabling 283,750 eye tests to be carried out in Vision Centres, through outreach and in schools, and 83,447 glasses to be dispensed.
Our current programme work in Zambia is due to run until 2023 and has a focus on integrating primary eyecare into primary healthcare and integrating school eye health into the national school health plan. Previous programme phases have focused on Vision Centre set up, providing much needed eye care services and glasses to the hardest to reach communities, and the education and training of optometry technologists, ophthalmic nurses and ophthalmic clinical officers to ensure that the services are sustainable.
Nicola Chevis, CEO says: "Thanks to the support of Specsavers, its store colleagues and customers, and its founder Dame Mary Perkins, we have been able to make a huge difference in Zambia and can continue to provide much needed support."