Since 2014, Kevin and Kristin have been working on a longterm project to start an eye clinic in El Sauce Nicaragua. In 2016 we held our first 5 -day clinic, seeing over 230 patients. This year, we have partnered with VOSH-California, an optometric non-profit, a Nicaragua optometrist, a Nicaraguan optometry student as well as local volunteers. We will be doing a week long eye clinic during the 1st week in June 2017. Our goals are to help improve vision by correcting two of the world's leading causes of blindness: refractive error (need for glasses) and cataracts.
We have received optometric equipment that we donated to the clinic in Nicaragua and it is our hope that with each year we can donate more equipment. In addition to equipment, we will spend one day training the Nicaraguan optometrist and Nicaraguan optometry student to help refine their skills of determining glasses prescriptions and screening for cataracts. It is our hope that within 2 years, this clinic will be running in El Sauce full time and served by said student-optometrist.
At this time, we are working to get a large supply of prefrabricated reading glasses to this community that will be given to patients at no cost. Last year, 70% of patients had their vision corrected with pre-fabricated reading glasses alone. For those patients with higher glasses prescriptions not satisfied by pre-made readers, the glasses will be made locally. Although the glasses are significantly discounted, many patients still cannot afford them. Your donations will help subsidize a portion of patients' glasses.
We are also working to help raise funds for patient's seen during our clinic needing cataract surgery. Cataracts will be removed by a Nicaraguan ophthalomologist in Managua. At this time, cataract surgery, including all medication, travel/housing, pre/post op care is $108 per eye. In 2016, 9 patients received cataract surgery within a week after being seen at our clinic.
We are hoping to see over 500 patients during this year's clinic with approximately 5-10% of patients needing cataract surgery.
50 cents buys 1 pair of reading glasses
$5.00 buys a pair of prescription glasses
$108.00 buys cataract surgery
We are so grateful to have the opportunity to visit and work in El Sauce again this year. It is truly a community of some of the most welcoming and loving people we have met. We look forward to sharing our trip with you when we return and hope that you may be able to join us next year as the project continues to expand. In the meantime, your donations will help so many to see their world more clearly.
Kristin & Kevin