Andrew Matheson has been a client since 1996. Andrew is a local optometrist whose practices Matheson Optometrists are located in Hampshire, along with a group of other UK Eyecare professionals, collectively known as Returning Vision, visited Malawi this summer.
During 5 days of intensive eye examinations, over 2000 people were tested. For many Malawi people this was the first and possibly only, sight test that they might ever have. In addition minor eye conditions were treated with antibiotics, ingrowing eyelashes removed etc.
As with the previous expedition to Romania, many of these people, had vision so bad that they would have been classified as blind or partially sighted in the UK. Luckily in most cases that were seen, their sight could be simply restored by the provision of suitable spectacles. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 38% of the blind in the undeveloped world are simply because they dont have the correct spectacles. This is even greater than those caused by cataracts (38%).
About half the spectacles supplied were new and donated by the participating optometrists and half good condition, calibrated and serviced, second hand ones kindly donated by Matheson Optometrists patients. Between these 2 sources of corrective eyewear we were able to restore adequate sight to the majority of the patients seen.