Optometrist Talha Newsar from Specsavers in Harlow has returned from his time helping save eyesight in Ghana.The 24-year-old travelled to the town of Kumasi as part of the charity Vision Aid Overseas after raising £1,700 in donations from staff and community members.
He was based in a university helping to train students and also visited local villages to test people aged from three to 90-years-old.
An amazing experience
Talha, who has worked at Specsavers in Harlow since he qualified in 2016, said: ‘I became an optometrist because it is a profession which combines technical skills and healthcare while allowing me to help people with eye-related problems, and also gives me an opportunity to build relationships with my team and patients. Working in Africa with Vision Aid Overseas combined all of those things perfectly, and it was an amazing experience.'
Each day Talha and the team tested over 100 people, working in extremey hot conditions, providing locals with glasses when they needed and training the students on how to perform eye tests.
He said: ‘The heat was difficult to get used to. I’d never worked in conditions like that before but meeting all the students and staff in Ghana made the whole experience worthwhile. I would definitely do it again.'
‘I would definitely do it again’
Talha added: ‘Now that I am more experienced, I will be better prepared and have the opportunity to go as a team leader next time.’
Vision Aid Overseas works in six African nations to establish vision centres, train healthcare workers and utilise the expertise of volunteers to give people desperately-needed eye examinations and treatment.