AN INSPIRATIONAL local nurse who helped bring fresh running water to a village in one of the world's poorest countries is now on a mission to deliver the miracle of full sight.

Cath Kerr and her family are devoted to helping the people of Chowe, a community in eastern Malawi.

Five years ago they raised £12,000 locally to fund a pipe to bring water from a nearby spring into the village and save people from walking miles to drink.

The 52-year-old district nurse from Skelmorlie has now launched an appeal to collect hundreds of pairs of spectacles and set up a new eye clinic.

Cath returned to Malawi earlier this year with around 200 pairs and saw for herself the life-changing results.

Now she hopes to continue her appeal to keep the supply coming.

Cath, who has worked in the Wemyss Bay and Skelmorlie practice for the last 20 years, said: "There was a man in the village who worked as a joiner but had to give it up because his sight was so bad.

"After going to the clinic and getting glasses he was able to work again.

"That makes a difference to the quality of a family's life, if they can work.

"It is shocking what we take for granted here.

"But in Chowe people were unable to work for just that simple reason.

"It is amazing to see it and to see the children's faces as well."

Nurse Kath first went with her mum Lucy to Chowe eight years ago to visit her brother David, 53, who runs an eco tourist lodge nearby with his wife Tara, aged 38.

Together the family launched the Chow Village Water Appeal, raising around £12,000 with work completed in 2014.

District nurse Cath was inspired to run a visual aid appeal after a good friend pledged £1,000 to support the village.

The response locally in Skelmorlie was overwhelming and the Tele recently reported how kind Inverkip Primary pupil Neve Smith stepped in to collect spectacles.

In March this year Cath and her mum went to Chowe with suitcases full of specs.

Cath said: "The next challenge was trying to organise some kind of system so these glasses could be given out appropriately.

"With the help of my sister-in-law Tara, we visited the local hospital in Mangochi and managed to speak to an eye specialist Dr Byson who was keen to help.

"The following week he brought his team of four to the village to carry out two days of drop-in clinics.

"He then took our spectacles to test and label them correctly with their strengths."

Then Cath and her family had to get the word out to the villages.

She added: "An announcement was made using the loudspeakers in the mosques, letting them know.

"Over 200 people came, and 100 pairs were handed out immediately.

"All those who had different prescriptions were promised a pair which would be made from the funds we had left.

"During the clinics various eye conditions and about 20 people were referred for cataract operations."