2017 has proven that significant progress can be made in a short time with the support of our generous donors, dedicated partners, and passionate volunteers.
Over the past six months, OneSight has provided sustainable vision care access to 2.4 million people. Since the sustainable solution made its debut in 2013, a total of 7.4 million people have gained access to vision care.
OneSight hit a major milestone in late 2016, completing the sustainable vision care system for the entire country of The Gambia. This means that any Gambian in need of a pair of glasses can now easily find them in an accessible location for an affordable price. Just four years ago The Gambia had only one optometrist to serve the entire country of 2 million people. Now, there are seven vision centers as well as a local manufacturing center working to provide access to vision care for all Gambians. The Gambian President, Adama Barrow, and his wife have received care and purchased glasses from the Sheike Zayde Regional Eye Care Center. It was President Barrow’s first time ever receiving glasses, and now he can read small text clearly.
Quickly building on that momentum, OneSight continues to locate, plan, and establish new sustainable vision centers throughout the world in 2017. In the first half of this year, OneSight has opened 24 new sustainable vision centers throughout the U.S., China, India, Rwanda, and Zambia, bringing the total number of sustainable centers to 55. In April, OneSight established two central manufacturing labs in Rwanda and Zambia that will enable all manufacturing for African vision centers to be done locally. These manufacturing centers allow OneSight to operate more sustainably and efficiently as we move forward with our sustainable vision center model.
OneSight has also made strides in providing sustainable vision care access to students in the U.S. In January of this year, Advanced Center for Eyecare (ACE) and Bakersfield City School District, in partnership with OneSight, opened its first system of school-based vision centers in California. ACE provides students with a comprehensive eye exam and initiates the prescribing and dispensing of glasses at the four vision centers throughout the Bakersfield City School District. The launch of the school based vision center project in Bakersfield was the culmination of a long-standing partnership between OneSight and ACE. See the full story in this video.
Since 2012, OneSight has hosted an annual vision care clinic to provide eye exams and glasses to Bakersfield students, serving more than 3,600 students over the course of five years. The evolution of this partnership has led to the creation of these permanent school-based vision centers that will provide students with year-round access to vision care. The purpose of each center is to keep students in school, healthy and ready to learn. Students can now receive care during the school day, without requiring parents to leave work and potentially lose wages.
2017 has been a stellar year so far, and there is still more groundbreaking being done to reach our goal of access to 20 million people by 2020. Check back soon to learn more about the two new countries we will begin work in this year as well as other exciting new OneSight initiatives.