The provision of eye care in Haiti took a major step forward in May with the official opening of the Vision Plus Clinic in Cap Haitien, Haiti. The project is an initiative of the International Eye Foundation and Vision for the Poor with support from a number of eye care charities including Optometry Giving Sight.
The Clinic, which will serve thousands of people in the Cap Haitien and surrounding areas, houses state of the art equipment, instrumentation, and an optical lab. Vision Plus will offer affordable eye care services as well as utilize a self-sustaining model with those patients in need being supplemented with services from the other profitable areas of the clinic.
The Cap Haitien area showed increased growth following the massive earthquake, which destroyed areas near Port au Prince. Many businesses and families have relocated to northern Haiti in an effort to rebuild.
“Haiti has a special place in the hearts of many of the people in the USA and around the world, and we were delighted when Dr. Doug Villella from Vision for the Poor approached us to provide financial support to equip the teaching and refraction room at the Clinic,” said Pamela Capaldi who attended the Grand Opening Ceremonies representing Optometry Giving Sight. “We congratulate everyone who has been involved in the establishment of the Clinic. It is a great achievement.”
Optometry Giving Sight was especially pleased to acknowledge two of its key donors through the naming of the ‘Bobby and Jayne Christensen Teaching and Refraction Room’. Dr. and Mrs. Christensen are members of the Chairman’s Club, the most generous giving level to Optometry Giving Sight. “We are honored,” said Dr. Christensen. “We congratulate the team locally in Haiti that has planned and expended sweat equity to get the clinic up and running. They are the heroes.”
Optometry Giving Sight has also funded a Vision Entrepreneurs Project, initiated by VOSH Pennsylvania, which is a pilot program training local people in basic visual acuity to deliver readers, prescription eye wear and sunglasses to poor people in the remote areas of Haiti. The high UV levels require that the islanders wear hats or sunglasses routinely as a preventative measure against cataract, pterygia, photokeratitis and eye cancer.
Thanks to the many caring individuals from the Vision for the Poor team, led onsite by Ms. Linda Boss and the VOSH Pennsylvania Group, led onsite by Dr. Diane Wilson for their sustainable ongoing work in Haiti. Optometry Giving Sight is proud to provide support as a funding partner to these sustainable projects.