Chinsali Vision Centre, Zambia – update, funded by you
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been having some exciting conversations with our charity partner, Vision Aid Overseas, about how Pala’s customers can help bridge the gap in eye care provision in Africa for even more people.
But before we announce our new project for 2022, we thought we’d share how you’ve helped deliver life-changing empowerment and opportunity for thousands of people in Zambia since our very first Pala eyecare project: the Chinsali Vision Centre.
Did you know?
- Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment, yet restoring sight is one of the most cost-effective health interventions to reduce poverty.
- In at least 1 billion – or almost half – of these cases, vision impairment could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.
- Africa has 73% more blind and visually impaired people than any other region in the world.
It was after learning about this problem that Pala was born. For every pair of sunglasses sold, we give to eye-care projects in Africa and we’re proud of what you’ve helped us achieve.
Our first ever project – Chinsali Vision Centre, Zambia
Pala’s customers funded the opening of the Chinsali Vision Centre in 2016 in partnership with Vision Aid Overseas and the Zambian Ministry of Health. The centre opened up access to eye health services and affordable glasses, changing thousands of lives.
Located in the northeast of the country, the Vision Centre serves the mostly rural population of Muchinga Province. In 2016, there were only five eye health practitioners serving Muchinga’s population of more than 75,000 people. The Centre was a huge milestone for the local health system and for local communities. Before it opened, people had to make the long journey to Kasama or Lusaka to access eye services – an impossible task for many.
- 11,722 people screened (47% male, 53% female)
- 4564 prescriptions given
- 5219 pairs of glasses issued (50% to women and girls)
- 1347 pairs of glasses made and distributed to local school children
The centre’s work has put visual impairment on the agenda as a public health concern, exposing eye challenges that were previously unnoticed. It found 90% of the causes of sight impairment to be either preventable or treatable and has greatly reduced the number of visually impaired people in Muchinga. This has supported VAO’s efforts to encourage the government to incorporate eye care provision into the primary health care system in Zambia.
The centre also established a project targeting children excluded from mainstream schools. Visual disability was found to be a major cause of exclusion due to children being unable to see the board for teaching and being moved to schools for those living with a disability. Through the project, the children found to have correctable conditions have been prescribed glasses and many have been able to move back into mainstream education.
“The impact the Vision Centre has had in the province cannot be adequately put on a piece of paper nor told in the full measure and extent to which lives have been transformed. This in turn has had a remarkable social and economic impact on the households, the province and the country at large.”
Chipo Mweemba, Lead Optometrist
A huge thank you to our customers
We couldn’t do any of this without our lovely customers – we think you are amazing! But there is still so much more we can do and the gap in eye care provision around the world remains huge. That’s why we’ll be announcing a new project in the coming weeks to run alongside our brand new collection for 2022. Watch this space!
We hope you’ll be inspired to support us in our mission to see the world better. Please help us increase our impact by sharing what we do – we can’t do it without you, so spread the word!
Learn even more about your impact when choosing to shop with Pala.