Vision Source Envisions a Future of Sustainable Eyecare for Northern Tanzania

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Dr. Moes Nasser is welcomed by the children
on one of his recent mission trips to Tanzania.

KINGWOOD, Texas—Building upon a legacy of giving back, Vision Source and longtime member Moes Nasser, OD, in collaboration with nonprofit Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) and the Tanzanian government, are planning for the construction of two new optometric clinics in Northern Tanzania. The clinics are tentatively scheduled to open later this year. Two surgical centers, which will be included in the optometry clinics, will serve over 2 million people and will be the first surgical centers located in the respective districts, according to a recent Vision Source announcement.

Suffering from poor eyesight as a child in Tanzania, Dr. Nasser’s eyesight went uncorrected until an organization visited his village and fitted him with his first pair of eyeglasses. In 1976, Dr. Nasser moved to the U.S. with his path leading him to optometry. He graduated with his OD in 1982 from the University of Houston.

As a leading doctor within Vision Source, he has led mission trips to Tanzania for the past 12 years. As part of The Lake Zone Roshanali Nasser Outreach Project (named for Dr. Nasser’s father), 1,012 patients received eye exams on Dr. Nasser’s most recent trip to Tanzania in November 2019.

In addition to providing standard optometric care, Dr. Nasser and his team have made great strides in supporting the albino population in Tanzania. According to the National Library of Medicine, one in 1,400 babies are born with albinism throughout East Africa.

“Oculocutaneous albinism is a major cause of low-vision at birth,” he said. “Many of these people live in orphanages and since we have returned for over a decade, a mutual trust has developed within this community. We are privileged to have provided these patients with eyecare for the last 10 years.”

Inspired by the great work of Dr. Nasser, Vision Source has raised funds through multiple corporate initiatives to benefit OGS, in the construction of new eyecare facilities within Tanzania in 2020.

“Vision Source member optometrists have a deep history of giving back, both within their local communities and to the people of impoverished countries,” Vision Source chief medical officer Dr. Amir Khoshnevis said in the announcement. “Dr. Nasser’s work in Tanzania is an amazing example of this and our corporate support of his efforts was a natural next step.”

In addition to treating over 1,000 patients, substantial progress was made in planning for the new eyecare facilities when Dr. Nasser met with two regional commissioners (Governors) to finalize clinic and cataract surgical center plans, as well as to discuss recruiting a local ophthalmologist and two additional optometrists.

“OGS has partnered with Vision Source for many years and we are thrilled with the great work Dr. Nasser has led in Tanzania,” interim OGS executive director Eric Anderson said. “We look forward to helping him complete this bold new project.”

“I’m all about not just providing the fish, but teaching people how to fish for themselves,” Dr. Nasser added. Vision Source has established an aggressive plan that includes equipment, teacher training, school eye health screenings, and a construction timeline that will prepare the first clinic opening later this year.

“When I return to my village, I sit under the shade of the same tree that I sat beneath as a child and am transported to the days when my father struggled to provide our family with the essentials, like food; it is easy for me to relate to the villagers,” Dr. Nasser said. “Vision Source and the Brien Holden Vision Institute are helping to give back to humanity with a strong plan for their eyecare future.”