A Nottingham doctor is set to save the sight of patients in remote Zambian communities with support from Optical Express.
Mehreen Datoo, from Nottingham, will distribute used spectacles from the leading eye care provider while volunteering in Zambia with medical charity On Call Africa. The charity provides mobile medicine clinics in remote areas of Southern Zambia, where villagers have little or no access to basic healthcare.
Mehreen, who recently took time out of her medical training to undertake a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine flies out to Zambia on June 2 and will be based at Livingstone, Southern Zambia for two months.
The junior doctor will be among a team of four volunteers who will each week drive hundreds of miles into the African bush to hold clinics in remote villages where there are no GPs and the nearest clinics are often many miles away.
Kirsty Luescher, co-founder of On Call Africa, said: “We’re delighted that Optical Express is supporting Mehreen’s trip.
“Our patients live in very rural areas and it is impossible for them to get glasses. They come to the clinic and they don’t know what is wrong with their eyes. Women tell us they can’t see to sew anymore and are distressed because they won’t be able to support their families.
“We get them to try on glasses until they achieve correction. One of the most satisfactory things we do as a charity is helping our patients to regain their sight.
Optical Express became involved with the charity after providing a volunteer, Iain Farmer, 61, from Fort Augustus in the Scottish Highlands, with laser eye surgery. Mehreen will join Iain when she arrives in Zambia next week.
David Moulsdale, CEO at Optical Express, said: “Optical Express welcomes the opportunity to support On Call Africa and provide Mehreen with used glasses.
“In rural areas with little infrastructure having good eyesight is the difference between having a livelihood and being unable to work and provide for your family.
“Having good eyesight can literally change a life.”
To find out more about the work of On Call Africa or to donate visit: http://www.oncallafrica.org.uk/