Optician sets up vision centre in Botswana

Richard Goring, second from right, at the vision centre in Botswana

Richard Goring, second from right, at the vision centre in Botswana

First published in News

A STORE manager from a Witney opticians has helped set up the first vision centre in Botswana.

Richard Goring, of Specsavers in The Woolgate Centre, was part of a team of six, including four optometrists and two dispensing opticians, who set out with the mission to provide affordable eyecare.

Making the trip with Vision Aid Overseas (VAO), it was the first step of establishing vision centres in 12 hospitals in Botswana, starting in Serowe.

Alongside the training of 22 ophthalmic nurses and technicians, the team set up a laboratory to make glasses and a dispensing facility.

Mr Goring said: “Within two weeks, patients started visiting the centre and many were provided with glasses or upgraded lenses.

“It was an amazing experience, but there’s so much more to do.

“If given the opportunity I would go out again to continue this programme so that I could see the hundreds, maybe thousands, of patients who could benefit from this project.”

The trip to the African country comes after a fundraising effort in August when store staff took part in a sponsored walk.

They also cleaned and adjusted glasses in return for donations to fund the three-week trip and £1,200 was raised.

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