Optometric equipment purchased for use in Malawi clinics

We have recently purchased some optometric gear to equip clinics that plan to develop their services soon.

We bought almost the complete inventory of equipment from an optometrist practice in Southend-on-Sea. This had closed down following the retirement of the owner. Then we travelled to Yorkshire to purchase a second-hand lens cutter and edger for preparing lenses for frames.

All this will be sent to Embangweni Mission and Mzimba government hospitals and it will complete the equipping of the new optometric departments. Mzimba is in the same region as Embangweni, and we expect that the two clinics will be able to provide complimentary services reaching needy communities.

Our thanks to Ashok Bhardwaja and David Tate who let us have the equipment at generous prices. We also thank the guys from Southend Vineyard who did some heavy lifting, and to Sue and John Challis who drove all the equipment to Scotland. And finally to our good friends Vicky and Nigel of Smileawi in Scotland, who are letting us occupy space in their next container (leaving Strachur for Malawi, on 7th May).

Southend team
The Southend Vineyard heavy-lifters with Ashok Bhardwaja (right), and a tightly-packed van behind them.
lens cutter with the cover off
David Tate took us under the bonnet of the Briot Silver+ lens cutter.

Clinical staff training continues with students progressing well

The Trust is currently sponsoring the training of three members of the medical staff, with a fourth to start soon. They are from Embangweni and Ekwendeni hospitals .

The first has recently completed successfully his general clinical officer training and waiting for final exam results. After a year’s internship, he will go on to a further 18 months of training, specialising in ophthalmology.

Two members of staff at Embangweni recently completed successfully their first year in optometric technician training. They are currently back  working in their clinic until term starts. This coming year, another member of staff from Embangweni is set to commence a clinical-officer-in-ophthalmology course.

Eye clinic in Malawi
A student doing an eye test at Embangweni

This training is being done at colleges in Malawi, and all students are local people who are committed to serving their local communities. Providing the funds for this training is a key part of this Focus on Malawi’s objective to help enable sustainable eye care services at the mission hospitals in northern Malawi.