- Innovative cross-sector collaboration to bring vision care to road users at service stations and truck stops, starting in Kenya
- First step for Essilor and Total in shared ambition to improve road safety across Africa by improving awareness and access to vision care
Essilor and Total announced today the launch of a pilot program to improve road safety by taking joint action against poor vision in Kenya. The two companies are coming together to fight poor vision and improve road safety in this country where access to vision care networks and public awareness are limited. By launching this pilot program, Essilor and Total seek to bring vision care to road users at both truck stops run by local NGOs and Total service stations.
The “Vision Journey” program will therefore start near Nairobi in October at the Mlolongo wellness center with a vision care campaign inviting 4,500 professional drivers to get their vision checked. This operation will be hosted by North Star Alliance in collaboration with Essilor, Total Foundation and Safe Way Right Way association.
“Good Vision Corners” will be installed in parallel at Total service stations to enlarge vision care services to all road users. Following the initial six-month pilot, a larger roll out is considered across the country.
In a country with a low density vision care network (1 optometrist for every 135,000 people1), this innovative program seeks to create new vision health touch points for road users, thanks to the combined reach of Total network and its NGO partners’ infrastructure. The program leverages Essilor’s extensive knowledge of inclusive business vision solutions and its capacity to mobilize local vision care providers. It will provide convenient access to on-site eye screenings and vision equipment for both correction and protection from sun glare, while promoting a road safety mindset.
According to the World Health Organization, up to 13,000 Kenyans lose their lives in road traffic crashes every year2 and 8 million people in Kenya suffer from uncorrected poor vision1, a major risk for road safety.
This program is a first step in the construction of a larger collaboration, aiming to scale the successful discoveries of this pilot across African countries facing similar vision and road safety challenges.
“This public-private collaboration between Essilor, Total and local NGOs in Kenya is unique. In line with Essilor’s mission of improving lives by improving sight, it leverages the strengths of two very different industries to improve vision health for road users. Partnering with a major player in mobility such as Total is a significant step in our commitments to improving road safety, reflected in our strategic partnership with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), and contributes to our fight to eradicate poor vision” said Laurent Vacherot, President and Chief Operating Officer, Essilor International.
“We are very enthusiastic about this disruptive initiative towards road safety” added Momar Nguer, President, Marketing and Services and member of the Executive Committee of Total. “Our commitment to road safety has been deeply rooted in each Total employee and road contractors for years. Yet, this innovative initiative is unique: it has been co-built by French and Kenyan intrapreneurs driven by their joint commitment for better mobility. Teaming up with the world vision champion Essilor and leading NGO partners accelerates our positive impact and clearly demonstrates our leadership as a responsible energy major. We are really looking forward to expanding this new service in the short term in other countries.”
This initiative is aligned with Essilor’s international campaign “Road Safety Starts with Good Vision”, supported by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). Good vision is of critical importance to take decisions on the road for all road users, from drivers to bikers, cyclists and pedestrians. However, public awareness and access to quality eyeglasses remains limited in many regions of the world, including in Kenya.
Road safety is also at the heart of Essilor’s 2018 World Sight Day campaign which on October 11 will call for people around the world to take the first step in checking their vision on the website www.putvisionfirst.com.
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1 2016 Essilor Estimates
2 2015, World Health Organization Global Status Report on Road Safety