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Manchester optometrist gives the gift of sight to refugees in Lebanon

A Specialist Refractive Optometrist based in Manchester has travelled to Lebanon to assist in providing refugees with essential eye care. The refugees in Lebanon were given the vital opportunity to get their eyes tested and were given free glasses if required.

Yousuf Mohammad, an experienced optometrist with Optical Express, the UK’s only complete eye care provider, volunteered as part of ‘The Gift of Sight’, a charitable eye care programme in Lebanon run by the charity Jigsaw, which aims to make a positive impact on the lives of victims of war, poverty, disease, and disaster.

Yousuf travelled to Lebanon to help the charity deliver life-changing eye care to those in hardship. As an optometrist, Yousuf understands first-hand the impact that quality optical care can have on a patient’s life and wanted to make eye care services more accessible to those who would otherwise go without.

The Gift of Sight programme is run by the charity Jigsaw, which seeks to improve the eyesight of Syrian & Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Qualified optometrists from the UK and elsewhere travel to Lebanon to help train local volunteers so that they can provide eye care. The skills learned include checking the patient’s vision and fitting and adjusting glasses.

As a charity, the project relied on donations for equipment in order to provide the essential eye care that was required. Optical Express were keen to support Yousuf and the cause, and so the eye care provider donated over 500 pairs of quality frames for children and adults to correct their vision.

Yousuf Mohammad, refractive optometrist at Optical Express and Gift of Sight volunteer said:

“The majority of people helped were children who may never have had an eye test and are not used to having good eyesight, so seeing their smiles light up when they first put on the glasses was amazing. It is life-changing for these children. Sometimes, I had to make challenging judgements about difficult optometry cases, which is why it was great that I felt really supported by my Optical Express colleagues at home to call and ask for a second opinion.”

David Moulsdale, CEO and Founder of Optical Express says:

“We were proud to support Yousuf in his trip to Lebanon for such a worthwhile cause. Through providing recycled and second-hand glasses, we were able to fulfil our sustainability principles in tandem with providing vital medical assistance. We recognise the importance of improving access to eye care and feel passionate about helping refugees impacted by war and instability. Optical Express are committed to providing resources and knowledge to assist wherever possible.”