Locals in a town in Kenya have benefitted from the expertise of Arnold Specsavers optometrist, Asra Sheikh, who travelled to the country as part of a charity mission to provide much-needed eye care.
Asra, who works at the Specsavers store on Front Street, travelled to the Thika area of Kenya to take part in the Shah Free Eye and ENT Camp. The annual camp provides free eye care to some 15,000 people in the area.
‘I was working with a team of optometrists to provide eye tests and screen the patients for any eye conditions that may be affecting them,’ explained Asra. ‘There was also an on-site volunteer ophthalmologist, so any conditions that I picked up were referred directly on for further investigation.’
During her week-long trip, Asra also dispensed spectacles for those that needed them, as well as offering eye drops for those suffering from allergies or dry eyes. For those that required medical treatment, Asra helped to take preliminary scans and biometry readings of their eyes to calculate the appropriate lens power for cataract surgery.
‘It was extremely rewarding,’ added Asra. ‘The camp is during the school holidays, so a huge volume of patients we saw were families. Many of the people we treated have very limited access to this kind of care, so it was fantastic to be able to offer such a vital health service.’
The charity-run camp, set up and funded by the Shree Jain Youth League, brings together teams of volunteers from across the world to provide free eye care services to people in the Thika area. They provide a collection service to patients needing medical care, offering a free bed, surgery, toiletries, food and aftercare, alongside the vision screening and eye testing services.
A word from the store director
‘We’re very proud of Asra for using her expertise for such a worthy cause,’ said Specsavers Arnold store director Vineet Nehra. ‘In the UK, we have some of the best healthcare in the world, which we can sometimes take for granted – so it’s good that we can help those who are less fortunate. We fully support any members of our team that want to offer their time and skills for charitable causes.’