Tesco has donated thousands of new frames and lenses to Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) following the sale of its opticians arm to Vision Express last year.
Vision Express acquired all 209 Tesco Opticians in a purchase announced in December 2017.
Sharing insight into the donation, category buying manager for Tesco Opticians, Emma Biggs, said: “We wanted to ensure all our remaining stock was sent to a good cause, so we decided to support Vision Aid Overseas, a charity that enables people living in poverty across Africa to access affordable eye care services and glasses.”
There are an estimated 1.1 billion people globally who have near vision impairment, which can be corrected with a sight test and a pair of spectacles. Of those affected, around 89% live in low and middle-income countries, VAO reports.
Director of fundraising and communications at VAO, Andy Holliday, confirmed that the donated frames and lenses would be used to support the charity’s Vision Centres in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Ethiopia.
Highlighting the importance and need for increased access to eye care services in developing countries, Mr Holliday, said: “In many countries around the world, there isn’t a culture of wearing glasses and sometimes a lack of understanding of the need for or benefits of wearing them. The work of VAO aims to develop a world where, everyone, everywhere has access to clear vision. We aim to achieve this by working with government ministries in our partner countries to develop locally based eye care services that can be delivered by trained local eye care workers at affordable prices.”