Kelechi Mezu-Nnabue, OD, DRPH: Bringing Better Vision to Baltimore, MD
By Essilor USA
Dr. Kelechi Mezu-Nnabue, OD, DrPH, FWCO, Mezu International Foundation Inc.
For the last three years, Mezu International Foundation Inc., a nonprofit based in Baltimore, has partnered with Essilor Vision Foundation to provide free health and vision screenings for the poor and disadvantaged in Baltimore. “Our community participants are very low-income citizens within the local Baltimore community. Many have either no vision insurance or poor access to affordable health care,” explains lead optometrist and vision director Kelechi Mezu-Nnabue, OD, DrPH, FWCO.
Mezu International Foundation participates in Essilor Vision Foundation’s Changing Life through Lenses™ program, which enables eye doctors, practices, and nonprofits to give back in their own communities. The website offers a complete online interactive experience with real-time account creation and immediate ordering of uncut, frame-to-come, and now, for the first time, complete glasses. Providers are also able to order a 30-frame collection of trial frames at no cost to support their on-site initiatives.
The twice-yearly vision screenings conducted by Mezu International Foundation and MIF Inc. in partnership with Aqua Vision Care and Essilor Vision Foundation see about 250 patients. “Over 60 percent of the population seen are children with various vision problems and refractive errors, and about 40 percent are adults,” Dr. Mezu-Nnabue continues. “Children with uncorrected refractive errors or vision problems have increased social and academic barriers. That is why giving our participants free eyeglasses made with their exact prescription has made a difference in their lives and impacted them positively.”
Dr. Mezu-Nnabue praises Changing Life through Lenses™ and how the program has allowed Mezu Foundation to serve more people in need. “Thanks to this program, Mezu Foundation has increased and expanded its Baltimore outreach to see more students, more children, and more adults. Future missions will involve other communities close to Baltimore, and we have also been able to build on our army of healthcare volunteers who all want to help make a difference in people’s lives.”