to bring eyesight to those living in developing countries
“When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it” - W. Clement Stone
Since our inception, we have traveled to different countries where we felt the need to be the greatest due to their challenging terrain and the lack of eye care readily available. Our goal has always been to create sustainable facilities with proper equipment and trained staff essential for proper patient care.
Our focus presently is in the Himalayas of India, Uttarkashi, where we have conducted 5 clinics over the last 6 years. We implemented a Rotary Chapter in 2010 for this region which has been instrumental over the past 2 years as they have seen natural disasters affect their area greatly. With our efforts and fundraising, we have assisted in the building of a multi operational theater that is in accordance with international standards. Looking ahead, we are still in need of surgical equipment for cataract surgeries to be performed there on a permanent basis, as well as, training staff and surgeons.
The operations routine is the same for each mission we conduct irrespective of the country and begins 3 months prior to departure. We collect donated eyeglasses from the Lions Club and other various opticals, all glaucoma and drop medications from their manufactures, all surgical solutions and intraocular lenses needed for surgery and checklist all refractive equipment needed for comprehensive eye exams.
The team meets a week prior to leaving to divide all the supplies and package all of the suitcases. We each take the maximum allowed for international travel.
Upon arrival, we take rest for that evening and begin travel the next morning to the clinic site (for some areas this takes 2 days). Once there, we utilize the first day to set up and strategize patient flow and management. Optometric clinic runs at the same time as the surgical clinic. Patients from as far as a 7 hour walk have been notified of our arrival 2 weeks prior and are given color coded tickets so that they know what day to come. Clinic hours run from 9 am to 5 pm(sometimes longer) for no more than 5 days. All surgical patients are seen for their 1 day post op and are instructed to return for their 1 month post op along with important information they need to ensure a healthy recovery.
Past missions have been in the northern regions of Peru, Huamachuco and Uttarkashi, Himialayas of India.
Future Missions we would like to include Guatamala – Clinica Ezell near Mazatenango and Kenya, near Victoria Lake.