8,000 new eye glasses for poor patients
Optometry Giving Sight’s continued partnership with Vision for the Poor has recently made possible the equipping of a new optical lab and service at the Divino Niño Jesus (DNJ) Eye Hospital in Lima, Peru. Over the coming year the optical lab is expected to provide 8,000 new eye glasses to poor patients living in Lima and the Amazon rainforest region.
“DNJ is a social service eye hospital that provides access to eye and vision care services for the poorest people of Lima,” said Dr. Doug Villella, founder of Vision for the Poor. “Demand for DNJ services has steadily increased and a need for more clinic space and an optical service was needed. In 2014 Vision for the Poor funded the addition of 1800 square feet of clinical space and the grant from Optometry Giving Sight funded the optical service which is located in the new space. The optical lab will also provide new eye glasses to DNJ patients treated at their satellite facility in the Amazon basin town of Loreto.” Loreto is Peru’s northernmost region with 70% of its inhabitants living in poverty.
Vision for the Poor began working with DNJ in 2013 with the goal to help increase patient capacity from 35,000 patients per year to 60,000. This would be achieved by focusing on three pillars to achieve sustainability: high efficiency, high volume and high quality.
“The optical lab will provide high quality optical eye wear to a high volume of patients in a very efficient way,” said Dr. Villella. “Based on our experience in other facilities patient satisfaction results in higher number of patient referrals. The increased capacity provides for a higher ratio of paying to non-paying patients, which adds revenue and ultimately a profitable service.”
“I don’t like to have low vision, I can’t study, help my mother, I can’t play with my sister, even play with my cat,” related Jose. “With my glasses nothing of this happens and I feel better and happy”. One of the many children recently given the gift of vision through our partnership with Vision for the Poor is Jose Adolfo (pictured right). He started having problems seeing at school and at home since he was 7 years old. At school his teachers never noticed the eye problems. It was two years later at 9 years of age that his teacher realised something was wrong with Jose’s vision. His mother Jessica was counseled to take Jose to the DNJ Eye Clinic. Dr. Cecilia Medina examined him and she prescribed glasses for high astigmatism. Once he was given the glasses, Jose start to see well.