Charities that Only Specs donates
$1 from every glasses sale on Only Specs is donated to either Optometry Giving Sight or The Fred Hollows Foundation as we believe that both charities do amazing work preventing and alleviating blindness. Our philosphy involves helping the community as much as possible, firstly with informative articles to help people make informed decisions and the broader community by donating to worthy charities.
Optometry Giving Sight http://www.givingsight.org
This organization combats blindness due to refractive error, basically people who could see if they had a pair of glasses. Currently they are funding programs in East and South Africa, East Timor and Sri Lanka. The funds donated to Optometry Giving Sight are used 3 ways. The delivery of eye exams, low-cost glasses and low-vision devices solving the immediate need for many. Human resource development, including training of optometrists, eye care personnel and their teachers, which results in more people having access to eye care. As little at AUD$5 can provide an eye exam, a pair of glasses and training for local staff in countries that lack eye care services.
Further information about Optometry Giving Sight from their website.
250 million people around the world are blind or visually impaired simply because they do not have access to an eye examination and a pair of glasses. Why not? Because in a number of countries there are not enough trained eye care personnel and there is no infrastructure to support these desperately needed eye care services.
Optometry Giving Sight funds the solution by supporting programs that offer not only eye exams and glasses in countries with little or no access to them, but that establish the infrastructure and human resources required for sustainable, quality vision care.
The link between blindness and poverty is clear. 75% of the world's blindness is avoidable - either treatable or preventable - and 90% of avoidable blindness occurs in the developing world. People in developing countries are ten times more likely to be blind or visually impaired than those in the developed world.
Blindness or a visual impairment can keep people from going to school, working, and providing for their families. Your support could mean the difference between a life of poverty and a life of opportunity for someone who is needlessly blind or visually impaired.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that blindness prevention and vision correction rank with immunizations among the most cost effective and efficient of all health interventions. In May 2006, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the WHO, passed a resolution giving priority to prevention of blindness and visual impairment. This is the first time the WHO has made prevention of blindness a global priority, encouraging governments to take action and commit resources to the many simple and cost-effective interventions that can save sight and give a better quality of life to millions.
Fred Hollows Foundation http://www.hollows.org/
Since 1992 The Fred Hollows Foundation has worked in collaboration with local blindness prevention and other health organisations in more than 38 countries throughout Africa, Asia (South and South East), Australia and the Pacific.
There is an alarming disparity between the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians and other Australians.
In many Indigenous communities across Australia, levels of poverty are comparable to those in some developing countries, with the life expectancy of Indigenous Australians 17 years less than that of all Australians. In some parts of the country, between 65 and 75 percent of Indigenous people die before the age of 65. The mortality rate of Australia's Indigenous infants is comparable to those of some developing countries.
Indigenous Australians have fewer opportunities to maintain and improve their health and life situation than non-Indigenous Australians. They do not have the same access to employment, housing, medical services and education, nor are they equally engaged in our social and political systems.
Those who live in remote and isolated areas suffer the greatest disadvantage.
While there have been some improvements to Indigenous health over recent years, the disparity remains. It needn't be this way and it has to change.
The Indigenous Program, funded by The Fred Hollows Foundation in Australia works to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people in some of the most remote communities in Australia.
Since 1999, the Indigenous program has partnered with local Indigenous organisations and Jawoyn communities in the region east of Katherine in the Northern Territory and is now extending this partnership to Katherine West and Western New South Wales.
Our work focuses on tackling the social determinants of poor health and supporting the work of Aboriginal-controlled organisations and health services.
Through a series of interrelated projects including nutrition, literacy, eye health, aural health, women's health and workforce training, we are able to address the underlying causes of health inequity.
The Fred Hollows Foundation in Australia is working with local Aboriginal health services and the Northern Territory Government to find affordable and sustainable ways to provide eye health services throughout remote areas of the Northern Territory.
One solution is the Foundation's Outreach Optometry Project in the Top End of the Northern Territory. This project provides access to optometry services for people in remote Aboriginal communities, including the Low Cost Spectacle Scheme.
We are also collaborating with the Centre for Eye Research to trial a new dipstick test for trachoma, an infectious eye disease endemic in many Indigenous communities yet eradicated in most other parts of Australia.
If successful, the dipstick will provide a point of care test that is easy to use and that allows a more targeted treatment approach using antibiotics. By enabling even non-specialists to screen for trachoma, this new diagnostic test would potentially avoid loss of sight or surgery later in life.
On a larger scale, we have recently formed new partnerships to launch the Integrated Eye Health Strategy for Central Australia. This program aims to address the backlog of people in remote communities who need surgery for cataract, trachoma and other eye health problems.
A consortium involving the Australian and Northern Territory Governments, Indigenous controlled health services, non government organizations and The Foundation have come together to improve delivery of eye health services for people in some of the most remote communities in Australia.
The program's reach takes in 1.6million square kilometres of Central Australia - making it, geographically, one of the largest integrated eye health programs in the world. This area includes the top of South Australia, three quarters of The Northern Territory, and into The Central Desert of Western Australia
Around 55,000 Indigenous and non Indigenous people live in this area with an identified backlog of 330 people, which we know of, requiring immediate eye surgery.