Africa is home to over 350 million people suffering from uncorrected refractive error – a number that is expected to double to 700 million by 2050 if no action is taken. One of the primary reasons for this problem is the lack of permanent access to vision care services available, especially in rural Africa.
Since 2018, Essilor Vision for Life, which is now part of the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, has helped more than 140 unemployed rural youth in Kenya become Eye Rafikis. This program allows them to earn a livelihood by providing vision care services to their communities.
A large number of Eye Rafikis are also providing their services at health centers and sub-county hospitals, truly extending the reach of the country's primary healthcare infrastructure to include vision care.