Knowledge

Janet’s objective is helping Africa’s poorest focus clearly on their future

October 05 2016

A quarter century ago she helped Africa’s poorest focus clearly on their future for the first time.

Optometrist Janet Green was a key member of a charity team which hauled trunks of second-hand spectacles to Tanzania…matching them to oh-so-grateful eyes.
Now, after three decades of working in the borough, Janet is preparing to return to the continent this autumn on another volunteer mission.

This time she will be flying to Sierra Leone where she will be concentrating on training her hosts to operate eye sight testing equipment themselves.
The project with charity Vision Aid Overseas could help give the under developed country a significant shot in the arm.
Many of the poorest remain unable to work because their uncorrected eyesight means it is unsafe for them to operate even basic factory or farm machinery, which leaves them an expensive burden on families.
Janet, whose daughter is also an optician, recently moved to Hepworth and Hall opticians in Church Street, Atherton, but made many friends during her 30 years working in Ashton.

Optometrist Janet Green was a key member of a charity team which hauled trunks of second-hand spectacles to Tanzania…matching them to oh-so-grateful eyes.

Janet in the background in Tanzania

The Vision Aid Overseas mission will deliver intermediate eye care and hopes to help “in a small but very important way” the country get back on its feet.

The five-strong team including an optometrist who was on the same original university course as Janet – hopes to conduct eye tests on up to 800 people as well as training local staff to continue the work when they leave.
They will also be dealing with the optical side effects being suffered by recovered Ebola victims. Needless to say she undergone an “awful lot” of vaccinations.

Janet said: “This is happening now so long after my first visit, because I am now clear of family and other responsibilities. But I have always wanted to return and kept in contact with the organisation in the intervening years.
“We have collected spectacles and books in Ashton for years on the strength of the original visit and had fantastic support in the town and have continued helping with the funding for it. Things have changed with the organisation and now, rather than taking our spectacles with us, they now set up clinics out there and supply the equipment so that they can cut their own glasses."

“They will be working at two bases established a number of years ago but not blessed with many such return visits by British Optometrists since". She admitted: “I am getting near to the end of my career and this will certainly be a very rewarding way to bring it to a conclusion.”

To support Janet’s mission, with donations buy equipment visit Just Giving website here.

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