I just got this message from Heather Wardle at Seva Canada. Seva Canada is a fantastic organization that works to eliminate preventable blindness worldwide. They work with local partners around the world to help provide eye care to those most in need.
The picture to the right is Dr. Salma KC Rai, a Seva-trained ophthalmologist from Nepal, examining a young patient in Nepal. Dr. Salma, as she is affectionately known, won a Fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology from UBC and BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. In May (2010) she will return to Nepal where she’ll be one of 4 pediatric ophthalmologists working at the Seva-supported Lumbini Eye Institute.
Seva is currently working with Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology in eastern Africa. They have a desperate need for infant eye glasses there. They have many optical companies who have donated children’s glasses, but none for ages 2 and under.
Here’s what Heather wrote:
Basically, I need hundreds [of eye glasses] in total, but would be happy with any, either new or used frames.
As I mentioned, our partner in Africa is the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology based in Moshi, Tanzania. The co-founder, Dr. Paul Courtright, is trying to establish pediatric eye care programs throughout eastern Africa and since there are no kids frames available in Africa, I try to send him a steady supply. I have several optical companies (Perfect Optical, OGI and IVKO) that have donated children’s frames, but no infant ones (I’d say age 2 and under). They can make the lenses there, but baby frames can’t be found in Africa for love or money. Can you help?
The problem is that there is a lot of childhood cataract in Africa, on top of regular refractive error problems, and these infants desperately need glasses after surgery and regular refraction for years after. Without glasses, as you know, their eyesight will never develop properly, so it is urgent. People can look at our website http://www.seva.ca/default.htm to see who we are and what we do.
The frames will be used in Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar, Zambia and beyond. I have a big box of children’s frames waiting to go to the airport to ship to Tanzania and would love to add as many infant/baby frames as possible to it.
They can mail their infant frames to our office at:
If they want more information about what we’re doing with the frames, they should include their contact information so I can stay in touch.
If anyone wants to call me for more information, I’d be deighted to speak with them.
Toll free: 1-877-460-6622
Huge thanks for spreading the word for us…
I know this community is extremely generous, and I’m hoping at least some of you are in a position to help out.
As a recap, here are a couple of ways you could help:
- If you have infant frames that you no longer need, that are in good repair, please consider mailing them to Seva Canada at the address above.
- If you have any contacts with infant eyeglasses frame suppliers, please pass along this request, and ask if they can help with a donation of infant frames.