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Vision Aid Overseas and Specsavers celebrate 10 years of eye care in Zambia

Ahead of World Sight Day, the charity and the multiple are reflecting on a decade of sustainable eye care in the southern African country

LM VAO

Vision Aid Overseas and Specsavers are celebrating 10 years of providing eye care in Zambia.

The optical aid charity and the High Street multiple teamed up in 2011, with the aim of expanding sustainable eye care provision in the southern African country.

The partnership has led to the opening of 11 vision centres, the provision of over 200,000 pairs of spectacles, and assistance in the training and development of eye care professionals within the country through extensive community outreach.

Over the past four years, Specsavers has funded over half a million screenings and dispensed over 83,000 spectacles in Zambia through Vision Aid Overseas, and has trainined over 900 students and professionals in ophthalmology. Communities have also been provided with the knowledge and resources to develop their own sustainable eye care systems for the long-term.

As World Sight Day (14 October) approaches, Vision Aid Overseas is marking the milestone and reflecting on the achievements of its Specsavers partnership.

Between 11 and 17 October, the charity will celebrate the relationship by showcasing its work through interviews and a mini documentary, which will be released on World Sight Day. Snippets of the documentary as well as new case studies will be posted throughout the week.

Vision Aid Overseas CEO, Nicola Chevis, said: “The support we receive from Specsavers is absolutely vital in enabling us to help hundreds of thousands of people living in sight poverty. This partnership completely transformed the work we do, and this week is a chance to reflect on everything that we have achieved together over the past 10 years.”

Across the world, an estimated 2.2 billion people are living with a visual impairment - but at least one billion of these cases are preventable.

Specsavers founder, Mary Perkins, said: “Specsavers has been proud to be able to support Vision Aid Overseas and their amazing work in Zambia. It’s wonderful to hear how our partnership has benefited so many people and helped to enrich communities.”

Lead image: School children helped by Vision Aid Overseas’ school-based eye care programme