Sierra Leone Vision Centre
For 2022 and beyond, Pala will be working with our charity partner Vision Aid Overseas on the building and equipping of a new vision centre in Sierra Leone.
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 Aid Overseas
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 Aid Overseas 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 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