Vision Aid Overseas speak to Optometry Today about its evolution from an ‘aid’ charity into an organisation that is focused on the long-term development of sustainable eye care.


Established 32 years ago to address the lack of eye care services and prescription glasses that existed in Tanzania, today Vision Aid Overseas is still very much focused on ensuring that no one lives in poverty because of poor eye sight and no one lives with poor eye sight because of poverty. However, the work that the Vision Aid Overseas undertakes to achieve its vision has certainly changed over the years. Anne Buglass, Director of Programmes explains,

We have probably seen our biggest transformation as a charity over the last 10 years as we evolved from working with an ‘aid-based’ model to much more of a developmental approach.



Vision Aid Overseas change in approach means that today its work is based around three core activities: training and education, infrastructure development and advocacy.


Training and education is pivotal, Ms Buglass explained.

There is an element of training and education in everything we do – that’s the only way we are going to be able to address the crisis of the healthcare workforce shortage in these countries. Building and strengthening the eye care services in these developing countries will only be achieved through training, education and capacity building to ensure that there is a strong base from which they can grow.

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