This year the Vision Aid Overseas’ Zambia team carried out 5 outreach projects and screened over 891 people in celebration of World Sight Day  


In celebration of World Sight Day, the only international day of awareness and fundraising to focus global attention on the burden of avoidable blindness and visual impairment, the Vision Aid Overseas’ team in Zambia spent two weeks carrying out various outreach clinics to deliver much needed eye care services and glasses to some of Zambia’s most vulnerable people. The team were joined by Alan Henderson, a long-standing Vision Aid Overseas volunteer who continued his volunteering assignment for a further two weeks to support the in-country team with delivery of smaller outreach clinics.

The team visited many communities and institutions to reach those who were most in need of eye care services. The first was Bauleni Special School, a special needs school that supports children with disabilities in Lusaka. At the school, the team provided the children,  teachers and other members of staff with eye tests and glasses. 

 

They also spent time at two hospitals, Beit Cure Hospital, a charitable hospital for children with physical disabilities and Sikandze Police Hospital, which serves both the local police force and the community.

Alongside these, the team also spent time working with two large prisons, Lusaka Central Prison and Kamwala Prison, providing services that would otherwise be inaccessible to the inmates. During their time at the prisons, a large number of the patients who they saw were young offenders as well as other convicted prisoners and those on remand.

Country Director, Karen Edwards said;

There is a massive need for eye care services in prisons. Over the course of both our outreach visits, we managed to screen and provide eye tests to over 400 people and they were all incredibly appreciative for our services

Over the course of the two weeks, the team screened and gave eye tests to an incredible 891 people. Out of those patients who needed glasses, 423 patients were given ready-made glasses immediately after their eye test and 422 patients’ prescriptions were sent to be made up at one of the Vision Aid Overseas’ supported Vision Centres.

 

Karen Edwards continued;

Everyone worked incredibly hard and made a real difference to the lives of so many in such a short amount of time, helping to bring eye care to everyone, everywhere.

World Sight Day in the UK

As part of Vision Aid Overseas’ World Sight Day campaign, the UK team also celebrated the international day by encouraging supporters including opticians across the UK and members of the public to bring eye care to everyone, everywhere by either donating online or by holding their own fundraising event or Big World Sight Day Lunch. 

 

The campaign was also supported by Freedom Destinations, the UK’s largest independent holiday company, who agreed to double all donations raised for World Sight Day up to the first £5,000.

Anne Buglass, Programmes Director said;

On behalf of Vision Aid Overseas, I’d like to thank everyone who donated and fundraised to support World Sight Day this year. We would like to extend a special thank you to Freedom Destinations for their continued support for our work, especially during this World Sight Day Campaign. We have so far raised nearly £8,000. These donations will enable us to continue to build capacity in our partner countries by training local eye care workers to deliver much needed eye tests and glasses to those that need them.