10 FACTS from World Health Organisation Regarding Blindness

Fact 1

Worldwide, 285 million people are visually impaired due to various cases; 39 million of them are blind.

Fact 2

121 million are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Almost all of them could have normal vision restored with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.

Fact 3

90% of visually impaired people live in low- and middle-income countries.

Fact 4

51% of all blindness is due to age-related cataract, the leading cause of blindness.

Fact 5

Cataract surgery and correction of refractive errors are among the most cost-effective health interventions.

Fact 6

Age-related causes of visual impairment and blindness are increasing, as is blindness due to uncontrolled diabetes.

Fact 7

Up to 80% of all blindness in adults is preventable or treatable. Among children, the major causes of avoidable blindness include cataract, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and Vitamin A deficiency.

Fact 8

Blindness caused by infectious diseases is decreasing globally due to public health action. Blinding trachoma affects 40 million people today, compared to 360 million in 1985.

Fact 9

Around 1.4 million children under age 15 are blind. Yet approximately half of all childhood blindness can be avoided by treating diseases early and by correcting abnormalities at birth such as cataract and glaucoma.

Fact 10

For decades, WHO has been working with global partners to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness, strengthening country-level efforts by providing technical assistance, monitoring and coordination.

First Mozambican optometrists

The first class of degree-qualified optometrists have graduated from Universidade Lúrio in Nampula this month, becoming the very first optometrists in Mozambique. Nine optometry students graduated alongside peers from other health sciences disciplines, in front of the first lady, Maria da Luz Guebuza, at what was only the second graduation ceremony in the university’s history. In a promising step for long term eye health in Mozambique, four of the graduates have been employed at the university as members of the teaching faculty and in doing so, will become the first local members of staff.
One of those students is Joel de Melo Bambamba, who graduated top of the class. Joel, who is the eldest of five brothers, decided to study optometry because his grandfather was blind and his brother has serious vision impairment. Growing up, there was very limited access to eye care services. Although the course was challenging, Joel said he was very excited to graduate. “I am very happy to have finished,” he said. “To have reached a dream of mine, and my parents.”
Joel was awarded the Jill and George Mertz Fellowship by the American Optometric Foundation and is currently studying for his Masters. He will return to Nampula next year to begin his faculty position. James Loughman, who is a Professor of optometry at Dublin Institute of Technology and one of the project leaders of the Mozambique Eye-care Project, said the graduation is a source of great pride and joy. “To see these first optometrists emerge in a country with little in terms of eye health resources means that the combined efforts of so many people over the past five years have come into fruition,” he said.
“The first graduates will pave the way for the development and integration of a profession into the public health system in Mozambique. They are the future educators and leaders of eye health, not just in Mozambique, but potentially for Lusophone (Portugese-speaking) Africa.” Prof Loughman, who is the Chair of Optometry Giving Sight’s National Committee in Ireland, also highlighted that research in Mozambique has revealed that spectacle coverage for uncorrected refractive error (URE) and presbyopia is virtually non-existent. “As URE accounts for two thirds of the observed cases of visual impairment, the capacity of optometrists to fill this void is tremendous, and represents a real opportunity to transform the lives of those in need of eye health services,” he said.
Optometry Giving Sight is funding partner of the Mozambique Eye Project, which is a project of the Dublin Institute of Technology, the Brian Holden Vision Institute, University Lúrio, Irish Aid & Higher Education Authority in Ireland,  and the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.
Source – www.givingsight.org

PRESS RELEASE: ZEAL Optics Introduces E-llume

March 15, 2013 – Boulder, CO – ZEAL Optics introduced the world’s first and only plant-based lens, which upholds to the highest of optical standards for quality and clarity while minimizing the impact on the environment.

Unveiled globally today at the International Vision Expo in New York City, ZEAL Optics, debuted to the market the world’s first lens using a plant-based bonding agent, thus replacing the petroleum-based bonder.“We are so excited to present our new e-llume lens,” said ZEAL President John Sanchez. “ZEAL has created a lens that will become the new industry benchmark for optical clarity with an environmental purpose.”

Designed and crafted in Boulder, Colo., this lens is proof that environmental initiatives are not a deterrent to an incredible optical experience. ZEAL’s engineering team has found a way to not only reformulate the bonding agent to eliminate crude oil, but to maintain a 38 Abbe value clarity in an active lens.

At ZEAL the brand principles of environmental and social responsibility, along with creating memorable life experiences, are driven by these type of innovative discoveries that push the boundaries of both the green movement and current optical stands. This is the first lens of its kind that can truly provide an ecological alternative to crude oil based lenses.

Currently ZEAL produces all their sunglass frames with Z-resin, a plant-based material that uses castor oil, eliminating harmful crude oil from the manufacturing process.  With the new e-llume lenses, ZEAL will become the first company in the world to lead the way towards completely removing crude oil from sunglass production.

“Castor represents a renewable resource,” stated Dick Auld expert in plant and soil science from Texas Tech University. “We commend ZEAL for taking the initiative to use a product that not only increases their sustainability, but also maintains the high quality of their product.”

ZEAL Optics’ patent-pending bio-based lenses offer unparalleled protection and prevention from UVA, B, and C as well as being able to identify and block a negative light range called High Energy Visible (HEV) light. This was recently cited as a possible cause of cataracts and macular degeneration. The ZEAL e-llume lens not only identifies this spectrum of light but helps to block it out.  The e-llume lenses contain a special hard coating for scratch resistance, along with an exclusive high transmission polarized film for increased eye protection from harmful rays.

Source: http://www.zealoptics.com/blog/2013/03/15/press-release-zeal-optics-introduces-e-llume-the-world%E2%80%99s-first-bio-based-lens/#sthash.kH6tUaEy.dpuf

Zeal Director of Marketing Joe Prebich shows us e-llume, the world’s first plant-based sunglasses lens  http://business.transworld.net/130314/features/60-second-sell-joe-prebich-on-zeal-optics-e-llume-biodegradable-lenses/

Eye care at Vanuatu

Lisa with Graham from Fred Hollows Foundation

Lisa teaching on Vitamin A Deficiency

Thanks to the Rotary Club of Australia, we were able to bring along some much needed medical equipment

One of the treatment rooms at Medical Santo

Where we stayed, thanks to the generosity of the crew from Medical Santo

The house we stay at gets a kitchen make over

When ants compete for your food – you get creative or hungry!

Before air-conditioning, there was the back of the ute

The Millenium Cave Trip audio/visual introduction – at this stage, the trip looks quite do-able (little did we know…)

some of the amazing sights

Lisa makes good use of the bamboo ladder

Lisa with a very sticky/velco like leaf

“Is this your first visit to the Caves?” if the answer is “Yes”, you get a face painting in keeping with tradition.

Lisa also has her face painted

Our lunch stop

Graham also ventured out

Lisa tentatively crosses the wooden bridge

We had several reasons to visit Vanuatu this week.

Lisa was invited to assist in training some of the eye care nurses from Vanuatu. These medical heroes are spread across the many Islands that form Vanuatu and are often called on the do much more than eye-care. Thank you Graham (from Fred Hollows Foundation) for the invitation. Graham spends most of his time traveling around the South Pacific Islands training staff as well as resourcing them.

We wanted to visit and connect with the team from Medical Santo – a Church of Christ initiative offering a volunteer staffed Medical Centre at Santo. Medical professionals as well as builders, electricians and others come out and volunteer their time to serve in the clinic or assist in renovations and improvements to the centre and other buildings. Thanks to the Lions Club of Australia, we also brought over a defibrillator for the clinic.

We wanted to investigate how we (& [email protected]) could offer assistance to Medical Santo & the eye care Nurses of this region. We are currently in discussion with several companies and organisations to investigate how we could form a support team for the eye care nurses. I am touched and blown away by the willingness from several large players in our industry to partner up and be a part of a solution. Because of the country we are born into, we have been given much in the way of resources and privileges, the real challenge is – “what are we going to do with all these privileges and resources?” We are also scheming on a way to involve all our patients in this crazy mission – a straightforward, painless way to assist in this mission!

There is much opportunity to provide extra help in a situation where basic medical and eye care is a luxury. People suffer from very treatable ailments and we are keen to partner with those who are already offering help and resources here. [email protected] and it’s people do not get paid to be involved in this, this is something we are passionate about!

As you will see by the photos, we also had some local adventures during our time in Vanuatu.

We will update the blog with more information as it comes to hand.

Ross Bakker

New Frame Collections at [email protected]

[email protected] is proud to stock new frame ranges to expand your choice in eyewear.  I have included some insights on each brand and videos or images related to each brand.


A fun and funky range of ecconomical frames designed to fit those on a tight budget looking for bright colours and different styles. This collection is geared to our younger patients or those with smaller faces.




Jaguar cars are world renowned for their high quality, luxury, sophistication and style. Translated into men’s fashion eyewear, Jaguar is a stylish collection marked by its excellent craftsmanship. Particualr focus on even the smallest details even reflected in the combined mix of materials including monel, plastic, stainless steel, and titanium. Sold in over 100 countries. 

Jaguar’s customer base is known for a contemporary lifestyle, with a modern to classic approach to fashion. Notable is the collection’s reputation for an outstanding array of large sizes and sporty masculine designs. Additionally, there is Jaguar Performance, a new subcollection that features angular front shapes constructed of stainless steel and plastic.

Jaguar Eyewear is designed and manufactured by the German based company Menrad. 


Mad in Italy

MAD IN ITALY – designed and entirely produced in Italy – are the creation of Claudio Dallo Longa, the company’s creative director and designer with over 30 years of experience in the eyewear industry. His career includes some notable achievements, including the first optically cut frame, the first temple pieces made of stainless steel and injection coated rubber and flexible temples with no screws, which earned him the coveted Silmo d’Oro award.Mad in Italy is a statement of intent, a play on sounds translating "creative folly" into practice, something that makes Italy unique in the world.  

Extravagance, technology, pioneering spirit, focus on user friendliness. All these elements form part of an eyewear collection dedicated to free spirits. It is for all those who love quality and new things and for those who seek, in daily life and everyday objects, the authenticity of everything that can bring them cultural and technological enrichment. It is for people who want to express their own identity, going beyond fads and creating their own personal style.



If you’ve tried the shoes, come in and try the glasses.  A big hit with our younger patients, the range features the croc material on the temples (arms) of the glasses. Durable and distinctive!  



Some of our other Brands

  • Addidas 
  • Avanti
  • Bondi East
  • Cube
  • Cubic
  • David Lawrence
  • Jag
  • Koali
  • Lightec
  • Magic
  • Mako
  • Mako Sunglasses
  • Maui Jim
  • Oga
  • Oroton
  • Prodesign
  • Stepper
  • Ted Baker

For more information drop by for a closer look at our new stock ranges.

Ross Bakker