Following their eye tests, beneficiaries were given readers and ready-to-clip spectacles, which were dispensed to the same on the same day.

Thirty-nine percent needed special spectacles for which scripts were sent to the lab. The group says that these individuals will receive their glasses in approximately one month's time.

This project is an initiative of OneSight Essilor Luxottica Foundation. The clinic was conducted in partnership with Rays of Hope and was the second in a series of 10 community clinics to be hosted across South Africa in 2022.

Rays of Hope is a non-profit company and a public benefit organisation, which has been operating in Alexandra Township for the past 30 years. It says that it manages many social outreach programmes.

The organisation aims to enable individuals and families to improve all aspects of their lives, thereby creating a lasting impact on the broader Alex community.

"Together with Rays of Hope we are changing lives and the community by creating opportunities for individuals to gain access to vision care that has previously been a barrier to their ability to work or learn," says Lameez Eksteen, country manager of OneSight Essilor Luxottica Foundation.

The group says that the initiative is made possible by Sunglass Hut and Luxottica whose generous support makes it possible to offer eye tests for free and dispense glasses at an affordable cost, or free in some instances, based on the patient's economic circumstances.

OneSight's model is based on establishing permanent vision care centres within communities that remain accessible year-round.

According to the group, there are currently three in South Africa in Carltonville and Dr Yusof Dadoo Hospital in Gauteng, as well as Galeshewe Hospital in the Northern Cape. A new permanent vision centre will be opened in Upington at the Dr Harry Surtie Hospital and another in Mpumalanga later in 2022.

The next community engagement clinic will take place in KwaZulu-Natal in August. 

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