If you’re one of those who breathe a sigh of relief when you find your spectacles so that everything becomes clear again, think again for those many people who can never see the light.
Ten per cent of the world’s population (670 million) are visually impaired because they cannot get the glasses they need. It is believed 153 million (23%) of the total number visually impaired cannot see properly because they are short or long sighted, easily treated with a pair of prescription specs. Thirteen million of these are children.
They risk missing out on education because they can’t see well enough to learn, but the high cost of glasses is beyond the average citizen in third world countries.
The Rotary Club of Ribblesdale has teamed up with Spex Opticians in New Market Street, Clitheroe, by providing a receptacle suitable for receiving your unwanted specs. Every time it is filled the specs will be sent to Vision Aid Overseas headquarters down in Crawley, West Sussex.
A spokesman for Rotary Club of Ribblesdale said: “0.7% of the world’s population (45 million) who need glasses are of working age, but are unable to work because they cannot see well enough, so they have really tiny incomes. Economies also suffer because of productivity loss based on the person’s unemployment and the assumed unemployment of their carer. The cost of providing an eye test and prescribing glasses is a quarter of the burden of productivity loss.
Vision Aid Overseas was founded in 1985. Apart from training eye care workers in their partner countries to create sustainable solutions and access to services they also give recycled spectacles. We can help in the Ribble Valley by donating our old glasses.”