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Expedition to Sahara refugee camp – Visual health campaign

In March we were invited to take part in this expedition by the Department of Solidarity and Cooperation of  Sant Vicenç dels Horts Town Council and the Association, “Sant Vicenç dels Horts amb el Sàhara”.

The purpose of the trip was to see, in the field, the projects that have been running for over 15 years now with the aid of Sant Vicenç dels Horts Town Council Department of Support to the Sahara.

It was our first visit to the camps. Our goal was twofold:

– Carry out a campaign of eye tests.

– Determine the visual needs of the Saharawi people and help them recover full visual health.

We tested the eyes of 450 primary school boys and girls (6-12 years old) from the Mahfud School at Wilaya de Bojador.

We found 20 cases in need of prescription glasses.

We found the general visual health of the children at the school very good. We saw few with any visual deficiencies.

In this case, the technical manager of Òptica Andorrana, Alejandro Fermoselle, accompanied us as our professional optician while, on the ground, we had the team from the Saharawi Ophthalmological Hospital, comprising 2 ophthalmologists and 2 technicians.

We observed several essential needs:
– A need for general optometric material, such as instruments, frames, ophthalmic lenses, cases.
– Optometric training for the Saharawi optical team.

At the end of the year we shipped out 6,000 prescription frames to them and it´s cases.

We appreciate the collaboration and donation of the Westpackcases made exclusively for the foundation.

The project is designed to be on-going, not a one-off or sporadic initiative. Thus we believe it essential to count on the support and commitment of our local counterparts. To such ends we have scheduled an encounter with the team of ophthalmologists and technicians.