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Zambia in focus

INSIGHT: Tim Benson’s portraits highlighted those with eye problems

SIGHT PATIENTS from Kitwe Hospital Eye Annexe in Northern Zambian were the focus of the Visions of Zambia exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London last week.

The exhibition was brought about by artist Tim Benson to raise money for International eye health charity Orbis, which trains health professionals in Zambia and helped to establish Kitwe Eye Annexe’s paediatric eye care centre in the Copperbelt Province.

With fewer than 30 ophthalmologists in Zambia for a population of 17 million (compared to more than 3,000 in the UK), there is a severe shortage of eye health professionals.

Benson, a figurative artist and vice president of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, said: “Painted portraits speak to people in a way that the written word and photography cannot. My exhibitions engage people with important global challenges and build awareness through painting.”

He added: “Since returning from Kitwe I have created Visions of Zambia, an exhibition shining a light on the human stories behind this silent health crisis, in the hope that it will draw focus on the thousands of people in devel- oping countries going unnecessarily blind.”

Eighty per cent of all proceeds from the sale of paintings went to International Eye Health charity Orbis, which helped to establish the Kitwe Eye Annex in Northern Zambia.

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