SAN ANTONIO – Executives from Optometry Giving Sight shared details of its vision screening and outreach program in the Lake Zone area of Tanzania at an event held here during the American Academy of Optometry meeting.
The Lake Zone Roshanali Nasser Outreach Project, launched in September 2018, was designed to screen 14,000 primary school students and provide outreach services to more than 6,000 people in remote villages, according to a video shown at the event.
“The project builds upon previous initiatives in the area and will allow the institute to continue developing local capacity and sustainable eye care services,” according to Optometry Giving Sight.
This project was the brainchild of Tanzanian-born and Houston-based Moes Nasser, OD, in partnership with Optometry Giving Sight and the Brien Holden Vision Institute. Nasser named it after his late father, who held a lifelong commitment to the well-being of the Simiyu and Nyambiti communities, he said.
Rural north Tanzania has only six optometrists for 4.5 million people, according to the video. Many cannot afford to travel or are disabled and elderly and cannot access eye care. A large number of adults and children cannot participate in everyday life, unable to go to school or work.
Nasser, who experienced hardship growing up in Tanzania, ended up with a successful career in optometry and the desire to give back.
, and in my profession it feels that way in every examination,” Nasser said in the video. “I want to be able to extend this life-giving service to the people in the communities of my youth.” – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO