An Ashfield optician’s saw fit to give a special visitor the VIP treatment last week, in an ongoing effort to support development projects in Africa.
Pastor James Dunkor Dugger, founder of the Dreamland school for orphans in Ghana’s Ashanti region, was on a rare visit to the UK when he stopped into Specsavers’ Sutton branch.
He had noticed his vision beginning to deteriorate in the weeks leading up to his trip, and decided to pop in and get a check up.
The store has a history of fundraising to support initiatives in Pastor Dugger’s homeland, so were glad of the opportunity to meet him and treat him.
Store director Nigel Davidson said: “As we’ve supported the Ashanti Development Project in recent years, we were happy to help Pastor Dugger, who has done so much to help young people in one of Ghana’s most deprived areas.”
After carrying out an eye examination, optometrist Stuart Green was able to determine that Pastor Dugger had a condition known as central venous occlusion, resulting in blurry vision, and glaucoma in his left eye.
“‘After discovering the Pastor’s condition, we provided him with advice and made a referral to colleagues in Ghana where he would be able to seek further treatment,” said Nigel.
Since establishing Dreamland school in Ghana in 2003, Pastor Dugger and his wife have been able to help more than 3,000 children from the Akumadam community to access education.
Supported by Repton School in Derby, Dreamlands has been able to improve its facilities in recent years and currently offers education to 600 students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Charity World Vision estimates there are 1.1 million orphans in the country.
Nigel added that a case like this carried an important message too.
“Pastor Dugger’s visit highlights to importance of regular eye examinations,” explained Nigel.
“Glaucoma affects around 20 per cent of Ghana’s population and is also the leading cause of preventable blindness in the UK, but regular eye examinations can ensure signs are spotted, allowing treatment to begin as soon as possible.”