Enhancing Access to Reading Glasses in Jordan
An Americares donation of reading glasses is helping vulnerable patients in camps and host communities to see clearly again.
Having proper reading glasses can have a profound impact on a person’s life, especially for those who have few resources at their disposal. Residents of Jordan’s refugee camps rarely have the means to buy reading glasses. So Americares and Anera joined forces to address this critical and often overlooked issue.
Thanks to Americares’ generous donation of 38,000 pairs of reading glasses, residents of Jordan’s camps with vision impairments are regaining their independence, dignity, and ability to participate in daily activities.
Prior to making the shipment, we conducted a comprehensive needs assessment in coordination with our key healthcare partners — the Arabian Medical Relief Society, the Institute for Family Health, and Jordan Medical Aid for Palestinians — to ensure we provided the most appropriate types and strengths of glasses. Americares sourced a substantial quantity of high-quality reading glasses tailored to the specific requirements of the identified beneficiaries.
Anera worked with our three local partner organizations to facilitate the distribution of glasses across refugee camps and host communities such as Gaza Camp, Sweileh and Irbid. We placed special emphasis on reaching out to the elderly and those with limited mobility to ensure equitable access. In receiving these much-needed vision aids, people improve their quality of life and feel more included in their communities.
Through this initiative, the Institute for Family Health distributed free reading glasses of the appropriate prescription strength to 235 of their patients. The clinic focused on patients over the age of 39, and particularly those with chronic health conditions that impact vision, such as hypertension and diabetes.
Many of the Institute’s patients had little or no ability to get reading glasses before this distribution. The team at the Institute conducted thorough examinations, identifying a group of patients most in need. Recipients of the glasses are thrilled to return to enjoying activities like reading, hobbies and crafts, and watching TV.
Getting the Community Involved
Community-based activities related to measuring the eyesight of patients played a crucial role in the success of the reading glasses donation campaign in Jordan. Engaging the community eye-screenings helped create a sense of ownership and trust, and encouraged more people to participate. We also combined the eye screenings with health awareness sessions to highlight the importance of eye health and regular eye-checkups.
Trained medical staff conducted door-to-door screenings in some areas where clinic access is restrictive. This outreach ensured that even the most vulnerable individuals, such as older people and persons with disabilities, were included and screened for vision problems.
Volunteers visited households, community centers, and local gatherings to raise awareness about the importance of regular eye check-ups and the availability of free eye screenings.
A simple thing like reading glasses has made a profound difference to thousands of people in Jordan who can now lead more fulfilling lives. They can participate more fully in their society and grow as individuals. Thank you, Americares, for making this amazing shipment possible!