Taigum optometrist calls upon community to donate glasses for African outreach.

Setting its sights on improving vision in other parts of the world, Specsavers Taigum is calling on the community to bring pre-loved glasses in store so they can be hand-delivered to people in need in Africa.

Passionate about giving back to his home country, Specsavers Taigum Optometrist, Levi Osuagwu will be recycling the reglazed glasses while taking part in a medical outreach trip to Africa later in December. Along with fellow Specsavers employees, Levi will be visiting his community, Ihitte-Uboma LGA of Imo State in Eastern Nigeria, where his mum and three siblings still live.

During the visit, Levi will partner with his local church in Nigeria, Saviours Evangelical Church, to administer free eye screenings and examinations, referrals and dispense glasses. In addition, final year students from the optometry school where he graduated from will also assist him in examining and organizing the flow of patients. It will also provide training for the young optometrists and expose them to using modern equipment. From previous experience, Levi plans to administer approximately 500 eye screenings over 3-4 days.

Thanks to donations from the Taigum community, Levi will have nearly three hundred pairs of glasses to distribute, and anything he doesn’t use during his stay will be left for trained staff to continue to administer.

Levi says, “This is the third outreach trip I have been on to Nigeria and it’s great to see our work making a difference in the lives of people who are surrounded by such poverty. I migrated from Nigeria to Australia in January 2014 and I know how lucky we are to live in a country where eye care is subsidised and readily available to those experiencing problems with their sight. It is estimated that 4.25 million adults aged 40 years and above in Nigeria are currently visually impaired or blind. In 84% of cases, blindness was avoidable. I am looking forward visiting my home country of Nigeria, I know this is one way I can make an impact in my community.

“We’d like to ask local Taigum residents to check for any pre-loved prescription and reading glasses that might be lying around at home and donate them to people in need in Nigeria. Every pair collected will make a huge difference to the lives of those suffering from poor eye sight and will provide individuals with a clearer, brighter future.” says Levi.

Specsavers Taigum also supports QLD Institute of Medical Research and The Fred Hollows Foundation through the Specsavers Community Program, which sees a portion of glasses sales being donated to the charities.