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CooperVision, EssilorLuxottica, African Eye Institute, and Peek Vision partner to bring vision care to South African school children

Primary school pupil elated with her first pair of glasses that will assist in achieving academic success. (Image credit: African Eye Institute)

CooperVision, EssilorLuxottica, African Eye Institute (AEI), and Peek Vision announced a South African initiative— “One School at a Time”, part of the Berkeley Vision CURE global program — to screen children in KwaZulu-Natal schools and provide free spectacles as needed. Together, the partners strive to strengthen vision care inclusion for children from disadvantaged families and under-served communities, prioritizing the importance of vision care for children. The ability to see clearly impacts many aspects of a child’s life, including self-confidence, socialization, and the ability to perform well in different activities.

This initiative aims to upscale, accelerate and expand access to eye health services to reach more children in more locations, break down barriers to services, and introduce children to healthy habits that can last a lifetime. “At CooperVision, we are committed to helping improve the way people see each day, and we believe that our partnership with EssilorLuxottica, African Eye Institute, and Peek Vision will help to reach and provide eye health services to many school children in South Africa, who otherwise may not have access to this care,” says Isil Ulug, Head of Marketing, CooperVision Africa and Central Eurasia region.

Saving vision. (Image credit: James Arnold)

Through the “One School at a Time” program, CooperVision, EssilorLuxottica, African Eye Institute, and Peek aim to reach school children across KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa, targeting approximately 10,000 learners and 250 educators, starting from March 2022 until September 2022.

“EssilorLuxottica is committed to ensuring access to eye care is achieved for all children, irrespective of their socio-economic background. The early diagnosis and correction of poor vision have become a much more urgent issue due to the myopia epidemic that is emerging. Therefore, our collaboration is a collective effort at making a significant impact on a major public health challenge,” says Professor Kovin Naidoo, Senior Vice President of Social Impact, EssilorLuxottica. In turn, Professor Khathutshelo Percy Mashige, Chairman, AEI, emphasizes the implication of the “One School at a Time” initiative for children’s future: “African Eye Institute is excited to collaborate with CooperVision, EssilorLuxottica, and Peek Vision in providing life-changing vision care for children in under-served communities. Too often, putting food on the table is prioritized over essential eye health services, which is why activations such as these are so important”.

The program is multi-faceted with eye health screening and referrals using smartphones or tablets and an eye examination followed by the provision of spectacles for those with an uncorrected refractive error. Alongside these practical interventions, the initiative aims to provide education to communities, parents, and children about healthy lifestyle choices that will prevent or slow down the development and progression of vision conditions.

More information on the “One School at a Time” project is available at https://coopervision.co.za/one-school-at-a-time.


About CooperVision

CooperVision, a division of CooperCompanies (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of contact lenses. The company produces a full array of daily disposable, two-week, and monthly soft contact lenses that feature advanced materials and optics and premium rigid gas permeable lenses for orthokeratology and scleral designs. CooperVision has a strong heritage of addressing the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism, presbyopia, childhood myopia, and highly irregular corneas; and offers the most complete portfolio of spherical, toric, and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit www.coopervision.co.za


About EssilorLuxottica

EssilorLuxottica is a global leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of ophthalmic lenses, frames, and sunglasses. Formed in 2018, its mission is to help people around the world to see more, be more and live life to its fullest by addressing their evolving vision needs and personal style aspirations. The Company brings together the complementary expertise of two industry pioneers, one in advanced lens technology and the other in the craftsmanship of iconic eyewear, to set new industry standards for vision care and the consumer experience around it. Influential eyewear brands including Ray-Ban and Oakley, lens technology brands including Varilux and Transitions, and world-class retail brands including Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters, Salmoiraghi & Viganò, and GrandVision are part of the EssilorLuxottica family. EssilorLuxottica has approximately 180,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.essilorluxottica.com


About African Eye Institute

African Eye Institute (AEI) is an Africa-wide non-profit development organization with the aim of reducing avoidable blindness and vision impairment caused by refractive errors and other eye deficiencies. It supports the delivery of quality eye health services – including eye health awareness, eye tests and examinations, and spectacles – to those who are poor, vulnerable, and marginalised. AEI has a particular focus on school-going children. An estimated 1 billion people globally suffer from unchecked, yet preventable, visual impairments, with around 12.8 million children affected by refractive error. By providing simple interventions, such as spectacles or referrals to hospitals for further care and management, AEI has made a life-changing difference in the well-being of many children – and will continue to do so. For more information, visit www.aei.org.za


About Peek Vision

Peek Vision is a social enterprise that powers eye health providers to optimise their services and strengthen health systems. Peek’s software, programme design, and data intelligence platform help community and school eye health programmes become more efficient, more equitable, and more effective. Users can follow the patient journey from screening to treatment and identify where patients are being left behind. Peek works in partnership with eye health providers, governments, and NGOs. Together, we aim to make large-scale, sustainable improvements to health systems. For more information, visit https://peekvision.org

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