The Outside Clinic sends optometrist on Zambian charity trip

Optometrist travels to Zambia to provide eye care

Optometrist Natalie Quinlan on her Vision Aid Overseas trip in Zambia

To mark its 30th year in business, The Outside Clinic provided funding to enable one of its optometrists, Natalie Quinlan, to embark on a Vision Aid Overseas trip to Zambia.

Ms Quinlan flew to Zambia at the beginning of June for a two-week programme with the mission to host a low vision course for optometrists and optometric nurses from across the country. This was combined with an outreach project to perform eye examinations in remote villages.

The course was received with infectious enthusiasm, according to the company. The attendees were keen to learn how to help patients with low vision as they have very poor access to magnifiers.

The outreach clinic was challenging as clinics often had to be set up in bright and dusty environments making retinoscopy and ophthalmoscopy difficult. However, this did not stop Ms Quinlan from seeing the rewarding aspects of helping patients.

Speaking on the moments of joy experienced by both her and the patients she commented, “One particular man was in his 70s and we prescribed a pair of -3.00DS spectacles. He was walking around, taking his spectacles off and putting them back on. Looking around with a beaming Vision Aid smile.”

During her down time on the trip, she took part in a walking safari tour and visited Victoria falls.

Following the success of Ms Quinlan’s trip, The Outside Clinic looks forward to supporting more of its staff in taking these types of trips.