Essilor and Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) have announced a three-year extension of their partnership program in rural Southern Ethiopia. The program, which began in 2014, aims to improve access to vision care services for poor and disadvantaged communities across the region. VAO operates through a partnership with two medical centers of Grarbet Tehadiso Mahber, an Ethiopian charity. The vision care and screening services are delivered at these medical centers as well as via outreach clinics that take these services to remote communities. Children and adults needing correction, with limited means, are given free spectacles. To date, the program has offered 340,000 screenings resulting in 22,000 people being equipped for the first time with prescription spectacles. The program also involves the training of teachers in local schools about basic vision screening so as to improve the prospects for future vision care services in the area. Essilor is supporting the project through its Vision for Life strategic giving program.

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