‘Vision Journey’ Program Launched by Essilor and Total in Kenya


PARIS—Vision Journey is a new pilot program launched on Oct. 10 by Essilor and Total, an international oil and gas energy provider. The program’s goal is to fight poor vision and improve road safety throughout Kenya. Over 8 million Kenyans suffer from uncorrected poor vision, which is a major risk to road safety, the organizations said. The World Health Organization reported 13,000 Kenyans lose their lives from road traffic crashes a year. According to Essilor and Total, Vision Journey seeks to bring vision care to road users at both truck stops run by local NGOs and Total service stations.

Laurent Vacherot, president and chief operating officer, Essilor International, said “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 Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), and contributes to our fight to eradicate poor vision.”

Due to low-density vision care networks in Kenya, with about one optometrist to every 135,000 people, the Vision Journey program will start near Nairobi in October at the Mlolongo wellness center. Hosted by North Star Alliance in collaboration with Essilor, Total Foundation and Safe Way Right Way association, the program invites 4,500 professional drivers to get their vision checked. Road safety is also at the heart of Essilor's 2018 World Sight Day campaign on October 11, which calls for people around the world to take the first step in checking their vision on the website, putvisionfirst.com.

According to 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 entrepreneurs 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.”

“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 rollout will be considered across the country.