OutsideClinic provides vital eye care services to Afghan nationals
OutsideClinic, in a significant outreach effort, provided critical eye care services to Afghan nationals, who have arrived under the ARAP scheme, at the Larkhill Garrison Medical Centre. This initiative, organised collectively by the NHS and the Ministry of Defense (MOD), was part of a broader multi-agency effort to support these individuals, who had stood alongside UK forces in Afghanistan, as they embarked on their lives in the UK.
The team, comprising Optometrist Kajal Parmar and Optical Development Lead Emma James, provided care for seven patients (one child, two young adults and four adults), a meaningful contribution within the project that is supporting 200+ Afghan nationals as they began their new and safer lives. Emma James reflected on the day:
"My colleague Kajal Parmar and I were privileged to extend our expertise to Afghan nationals embarking on a pivotal chapter in their lives in the UK. The day was fantastic, it was great to be able to see patients that we don’t typically see at OutsideClinic and to be able to help people as they start their UK journey.""Emma James
This clinic was more than just an eye care service; it was part of a comprehensive approach to assisting the newly arrived families with their health, education, and other essential needs. The detailed patient information provided by the clinic’s coordinator enabled OutsideClinic to offer highly tailored and effective care.
The team were equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) and backed by a well-furnished facility helping them to deliver high-quality eye care. Interpreters played a key role, ensuring clear communication and understanding between the healthcare providers and patients.
Among the patients was a 10-year-old boy, a demographic not often seen at OutsideClinic. Diagnosing his long-sightedness and fitting him with a striking pair of black and yellow spectacles was a highlight, bringing joy to both the patient and the team. Kajal Parmar, expressed her gratitude to be able to help make a difference:
"I feel very grateful for the opportunity to visit Larkhill Medical Centre. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and feel very grateful to have been able to help the patients that attended with Emma.”Kajal Parmar
With a considerable number of Afghan nationals present and the possibility of further clinics, OutsideClinic’s engagement with these seven patients represents a vital part of a much larger effort to support these communities.