Based in the city’s Kossodo Hospital, the centre was established through a £59,000 donation from
the Fondation L’Occitane, a charity foundation set up by the French cosmetics manufacturer of the same name.
The centre was set up by a volunteer from Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) who installed optical equipment and trained ophthalmic nurses in refraction, glazing and dispensing during a two-week trip.
Readymade spectacles and bespoke solutions for more complex prescriptions will be provided by a dispensary unit that opened in the hospital last year.
VAO program director Richard Rawlinson said the centre will be a huge asset to local communities.
“For the first time, patients will have access to low cost spectacles manufactured exactly to their prescription. This not only directly helps local people with their day to day visual requirements, but can make a huge difference to the welfare of all within the communities we serve,” said Mr. Rawlinson.
The land-locked African nation, which has a population of almost 16.5 million, has one of the lowest GDP per capita figures in the world and an average life expectancy of just 54 for men and 57 for women.