Optometry Giving Sight: Haiti – January 2013
Dr. Kate MacNeill,
Registered Optician Barb Radbourne
Optometric Assistant Elyse Holmes travel to Haiti
In January 2013, Dr. Kate MacNeill, staff optician Barb Radbourne and optometric assistant Elyse Holmes travelled to Cap Haitien, Haiti where they were involved in providing eye care in remote villages in the region. They were part of a VOSH service trip that included 5 optometrists, 2 opticians and 4 support volunteers.
The primary mission of VOSH International (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) is to facilitate the provision and the sustainability of vision care world wide for people who can neither afford or obtain such care.
Over 5 clinic days:
-1260 patients were examined
-735 school children were screened and those needing further testing were seen with the other patients
-153 glaucoma referrals (10 glaucoma patients were under the age of 20)
-43 cataract referrals (many of the glaucoma patients were also seen for cataracts)
-2 referrals for other sight threatening conditions
-other referrals to medical clinics for systemic health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and skin cancer
VOSH and Optometry Giving Sight work toward the common goal of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, an initiative of the World Health and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. VISION 2020 aims to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020, in order to give all people in the world the right to sight.
Sight is the most treasured of our five senses. We see the world and its myriad of colours and shapes through the windows of our eyes. We learn with them. We laugh with them. We communicate with them. We provide for our families with them. We see our loved ones with them.
Sight can make the difference between a life of poverty and a life of opportunity.