RestoringVision and The National System for Integral Family Development – SNDIF – located in Mexico, have collaborated to empower more than 150,000 people with clear vision so far this year, with a shared goal of reaching 300,000 people by the end of 2022.
“In Mexico, there are 19 million people over the age of 39 who live in extreme poverty or poverty. Those individuals have a high probability of having presbyopia and not being able to access a pair of reading glasses,” said Gerardo Medina Duarte, RestoringVision’s Program Coordinator in Mexico.
In an effort to create equitable access to vision services and glasses, RestoringVision recently partnered with SNDIF at a health fair for seniors to provide optometry services and access to reading glasses, glucose measurement, blood pressure measurement, access to a doctor, nutrition counseling, access to a dentist, medicines, groceries, and more – at no cost to participants.
Through RestoringVision’s partnership with SNDIF, the most vulnerable populations now have reading glasses through existing health systems and events like this health fair, at rehabilitation centers, and at other health events held in city squares.
The health fair was held in the Xonacatlán Municipality where a warm welcome was given by the Municipal President, Alfredo González González and his wife Betty Olivia Saavedra García, who is the DIF´s Municipal System President in Xonacatlán. Xonacatlán is one of the 125 municipalities of the State of Mexico in the Toluca Valley. According to INEGI 2020, it has a population of 54,000 people. Some of its main industries include retail, services, and manufacturing; and they are well known for producing stuffed toys. According to CONEVAL, 70.9% of the municipality population experiences poverty or extreme poverty. And according to INEGI, 17,500 people are over 40 years old, resulting in about 12,000 people with a high probability of having presbyopia and not having access to reading glasses in that municipality. Thanks to RestoringVision’s work in Mexico, a pathway to access reading glasses is being made possible.
Volunteers from the University of the Toluca Valley, UTVT; the National College of Technical Professional Education of the State of Mexico, CONALEP; and the School of Scientific and Technological Studies of the State of Mexico, CECyTEM supported this event where SNDIF facilitated the first round of over 500 people benefited from RestoringVision´s programs.
“RestoringVision looks forward to continuing this important work across Mexico as we forge deeper partner relationships that will ultimately result in sustainable, local access to vision services and glasses for all,” Medina said.