Hassocks optician donates valuable equipment to Burgess Hill based sight charity

A Hassocks opticians donated a special piece of equipment for examining eyes to Burgess Hill based charity.

Wednesday, 15th May 2019, 10:04 am

Hassocks Eyecare Centre donated a split lamp to SeeKenya – a UK based charity working within Kenya to reduce blindness and provide specialist treatment and high quality eye care services to marginalised communities.

Vicki Macken, optometrists at the centre, said: “We are delighted to be able to be in a position to support this great charity – as optometrists we spend our lives trying to make people see better and by giving this piece of equipment that will now mean an improved service in the Kenyan clinics.”

With over 95 per cent of Kenyans living without access to eye care, there is a desperate need for help. Going blind can mean the end of an education, job and independence.

Vicki Macken and Paul Watts with the slit-lamp together with Charlotte Olive from SeeKenya
Vicki Macken and Paul Watts with the slit-lamp together with Charlotte Olive from SeeKenya

In fact the life expectancy of those who become blind in Kenya is only five years. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 80 per cent of visual impairment is preventable or treatable and this is what SeeKenya is working towards.

Twice a year, teams of up to 15 volunteers set up temporary clinics in the county town of Meru in central Kenya.

Using one of the local church buildings as a base, SeeKenya provide full eye tests and eye health screening for every person who visits the clinic.

There is an on-site glazing lab which means it is possible to make and deliver glasses to the patients, usually on the same day. Currently around 2,500 Kenyans are seen every year with glasses, sunglasses as well as sight saving medication provided.

Pete Marson, founder of SeeKenya, said: “We are so grateful for the support of Hassocks Eyecare Centre and the donation of this vital piece of equipment.

“This will make a huge difference in checking the health of people’s eyes in Kenya.”

The charity only exists through the generosity of organisations like Hassocks Eyecare Centre and through donations made by supporters and members of the public.

Just a small amount can make a massive difference. Just £3 can provide drops to prevent blindness in ten children, £20 can provide glasses for seven people.