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Simon has his sights set on helping people
2:20pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
INTREPID optician Simon Frackiewicz is heading to Africa today (Wednesday) to help save people’s sight.
Simon, of Robert Frith Optometrists in Fore Street, Chard, is leading an eye-testing mission to help impoverished people in the remote Akamba tribal region of eastern Kenya.
It is one of the most arid parts of the country and like the neighbouring countries of Somalia and Ethiopia has suffered one of the worst droughts in living memory after four years without rain.
Simon is a trustee of Somerset-based charity Akamba Aid Fund, which has supported people in the region since 1999.
He said: “The aim of this year’s trip is to improve the sight of people in some of the more remote parts of the region, where most of the population live below the poverty line.
“As a consequence of this, eye care is unaffordable to the average person, as there is no government funding of eye tests, and it may take a day to reach the nearest optician.”
The charity has also funded numerous large projects, including school buildings, medical centres, catchment dams and wells, and provided medical care to the poorest people in the area, ordinarily unaffordable.
People in the Somerset area supply most of the spectacles – the charity could not do its work without regular supplies from practices and the eye department at Yeovil hospital.
Simon added: “For the first time, we are taking a dedicated ‘eye’ team – therefore we hope to exceed the number of people we have been able to assess in previous years.
“On behalf of people in the Akamba region, we would like to express our thanks to all our supporters in the UK who make our work possible as a result of their donations of spectacles and monies to fund eye surgery.”