The Clothworkers' Foundation was established by The Clothworkers' Company in 1977 and aims to improve the lives of people and communities, particularly those facing disadvantage.

The Clothworkers' Foundation currently supports Vision Aid Overseas' work in Sierra Leone via a proactive grants programme which is not open to applications.

With thanks to The Clothworkers Foundation: for 'Primary Eye Care Pilot Project', reaching over 320,000 people and improving the skills of 240 Community Health Workers, 16 Community Health Officers, and three optometry Technicians, within three years between 2019-2022.

Goal: To reduce the prevalence of Uncorrected Refractive Error in children and adults across the Kenema district, the capital of the Eastern region of Sierra Leone.

Objectives:

  1. Enhance the capacity of government health workers to provide safe and inclusive optical services, especially vulnerable groups;
  2. Improve the availability of safe, essential eye services in Primary Health Units (PHUs) and District hospitals;
  3. Improve the delivery of quality eye health services to vulnerable groups;
  4. Increase the knowledge of basic eye health issues and services amongst the community;
  5. Increase the ability of the community to make decisions on spectacle wearing;
  6. Increase spectacle usage for vulnerable groups.

Beneficiaries:

Over 320,000 people will be pre-screened for eye issues by Community Health Workers and 131,733 people will be screened by a health worker trained in the WHO-approved Primary Eye Care method. We anticipate that 26,000 patients will require and be treated with eye drops for conjunctivitis symptoms and 10,800 patients will require and be issued life changing glasses.

The following health professionals will be trained: 240 Community Health Workers, 16 Community Health Officers (CHOs), 3 optometry Technicians (OTs). 90% of the target total population will benefit from health education activities to promote awareness, importance and uptake of eye health services.

Activities:

  • Training existing government health professionals at different levels of the Primary Health Care system (Community Health Workers , Community Health
  • Development of Behaviour change strategies, Community engagement, Community sensitization and eye health education materials.
  • Screening and referral and treatment of patients
  • Equipping the Vision Centre with additional frames and lenses to meet increased demand
  • Carrying out community outreach twice a year to provide eye tests to those patients who require them.
  • Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of programme impact