The cost of high quality medical eyeglasses have skyrocketed in the local market, due to devaluation, as the Lebanese pound has tumbled against dollar losing more than 90 percent of its value. As a result, counterfeited and fake eyeglasses flooded the market.
Wael Qasab, Founder of “Absar” campaign told Sawt Beirut International (SBI) reporter Sarah Chehada that chaos reigns over the sector, as citizens cannot afford anymore purchasing an eyeglasses, and they rather repair it.
Qasab explained that optometry is a medical profession, therefore optical shops require a license from the Ministry of Public Health, and the owner should be a member in the Syndicate of Opticians and Optometrists in Lebanon. However, our profession has not been totally regulated, and there are a lot of violating shops. But the Syndicate have issued lately a law to regulate this profession, and the customer should also make sure that the shop is licensed.
The prices of glasses, Qasab said, starts from 120,000 LBP, and goes us to 500,000 LBP. Those who suffer from high grades of myopia, the price of their eyeglasses start from 500,000 LBP if it of high quality. However, traders are purchasing bad quality or fake products in order to sell. That’s why we ask customers to be aware, and refrain from purchasing bad quality eyeglasses as it may affect their sight negatively.
Absar initiative undertaken by Qasab, amid these stifling economic conditions, aims at encouraging people, who no longer use their old glasses, to donate it for needy people. “We are granting around 400 glasses annually, and we are targeting to provide 1,000 glasses per year, to help poor people.”
The high prices, from one side, and the absence of any vision among officials in dealing with the hurdles on the other side, is threatening the health of the Lebanese, who are incapable of taking care of their health anymore.