Sierra Leone Vision Centre
In June 2022, Pala launched our latest funding project alongside our charity partner Vision Action. This involves providing the finance to refurbish and equip a new vision centre in the Northern District, Sierra Leone. As of January 2023 we are 26% towards our target!
Sierra Leone is ranked 182 out of 189 on the UN’s Human Development Index ranking, making it one of the poorest countries in the world.
Current life expectancy is just 54 years and more than 60 percent of Sierra Leoneans live on less than $1.25 a day. In terms of eye health, it has an insufficient number of trained professionals at the primary level to conduct quick and simple eye screening to identify basic eye conditions.
“There are only 5 qualified optometrists for a population of 7 million people in Sierra Leone.”Anne Buglass, Vision Action
Cultural barriers prevent people accessing services. A general lack of knowledge and understanding around the importance and urgency of diagnosing eye issues early on. Harmful traditional practices, reliance on traditional healers over mainstream health systems and prioritisation of male over female health all continue to be prioritised. A great deal of education is required to overcome this.
Pala are committing to finance the development and equipping of the eye centre. Our partner Vision Action are fundamental to ensuring the successful implementation of the project once the funding has been raised. They will also bring in additional partners to fund the training of optometrists and nurses; the education in the communities and ongoing running of the centre. It is key that there are long term outcomes and that the centres are funded well into the future.
“This is such an important campaign for Pala, re-enforcing our mission to create lasting change in access to eyecare across Africa. ”John Pritchard, Founder, Pala