When Sorilia’s daughter learnt about eye screenings happening in her community, she hoped there was a chance her mother’s sight could be restored.
Sorilia had lost her sight more than 8 years previously, and could no longer work or even walk anywhere by herself. She depended on her family to dress, eat, and go to church.
At the Vision Plus Clinic in Haiti she was diagnosed with terminal glaucoma.
Unfortunately, neither drugs nor surgery will allow her to recover her sight. This was not only devastating news for Sorilia, but also for the whole team at the Clinic.
That’s why the eye care team at Vision Plus (with support from visiting VOSH teams) undertake screenings and initial consultations in remote end underserved areas in northern Haiti, because potentially damaging eye health issues can be identified before they become critical.
Patients who receive referrals are treated by the locally trained ophthalmologists who own and run the Clinic. Their public / private practice model ensures that all people are guaranteed access to quality services no matter what their income.
Optometry Giving Sight is committed to ensuring that there are more “feet on the ground” in Haiti and is supporting the establishment of the first ever School of Optometry at Haiti University in the capital, Port au Prince. Our hope is that we will have raised enough funds to welcome the first students to the School commencing in October 2016.
Some good progress is already being made with a new medical building being constructed on the University campus, thanks to funds provided by the US Government. The building will be large enough to include the School of Optometry, and there is provision being made for a community Eye Clinic to be included as part of the School.
We still need to raise more funds to enable the School to proceed, and would welcome your support. Our hope is that in the future, people like Sorilia will not be denied access to treatment simply because there are no services available in her community.
Optometry Giving Sight is working in partnership with VOSH International and Brien Holden Vision Institute to fund the development of the School in Haiti and has received much needed financial support from Essilor Canada and Vision Source® in USA.
Photo courtesy, Cielo Pictures