Thank you to The Clothworkers’ Foundation for their incredible support to Vision Aid Overseas’ programme in Sierra Leone since 2013 and for agreeing to continue this support for 3 more years.


The Clothworkers’ Foundation have been supporting Vision Aid Overseas in Sierra Leone since 2013 and have recently agreed a second phase of support until 2021, for which we are extremely grateful. Together, we have completely transformed access to eye care services across the Eastern Province of the country over the past five years and are excited to continue this programme into its second phase, developing and enhancing the services already established to reach even more people.

With the nearest eye care services based over 300km away in the country’s capital, Freetown, the initial phase of our project focussed on increasing access to eye care services within the Eastern Province. With The Clothworkers’ Foundation’s support, we established 3 Vision Centres, trained 10 Optometry Technicians who are now working in these Vision Centres, and screened over 40,000 people.  This was achieved despite the devastating Ebola crisis which stopped many of the services for several months.

 

Since then, each of these Vision Centres has continued to screen and prescribe glasses to more and more people as the communities become aware of the services available and the differences a simple eye test and a pair of glasses can make to their lives. 

Patrick, a tailor, is just one of our patients who benefited from these new services. He struggled to see the needle on his sewing machine and could not complete his work properly but thanks to The Clothworkers’ Foundation’s support, Patrick visited our newly developed Vision Centre in Koidu and received the eye test and glasses he needed to continue to work and provide for his family. Read more about Patrick’s story here.

 

Philip Howard, The Clothworkers' Foundation said;

The Clothworkers’ Foundation has been supporting Vision Aid Overseas since 2013 to transform access to eye health in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone, one of the world’s least-developed countries. Despite the many challenges faced since then, including the devastating Ebola crisis, VAO has been open and transparent about their progress and we’ve seen fantastic impact over the last 5 years […] We’re looking forward to the next three years with VAO and are proud of everything we’ve achieved together to date.

The next phase of our programme focuses on primary eye care, and will now greatly increase awareness and demand for our services amongst local communities in Kenema, the capital of the Province. We plan to train primary healthcare workers to screen patients’ eyes at local health units across Kenema and will embed these new services into the existing primary health care system to ensure they are available for everyone in the long term.  

Nicola Chevis, CEO Vision Aid Overseas said;

We are extremely grateful for The Clothworkers’ Foundation’s incredible support to our programme in Sierra Leone over the past five years. Together, we have established Vision Centres and trained local eye care workers to deliver the services in the Eastern Province, which didn’t have any optometry services prior to our partnership.  We are excited to work together in the next stage of the programme to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of our services and for eye care to be integrated with the Primary Health Care package so that the services can be sustained for many years to come