Sunday, April 15, 2012

Off Ship Sites I. - Eye Screening

As you know we do the surgeries on board, but not only there. We do have 3 sites that we received from the government to use. They are usually buildings that needs a little fix-up first - but this is a good deal for us. We renovate them, use it as our secondary medical site and when we leave the government gets it back to us it as they see best.

In Salone the HOPE Centre and the Dental Clinic was in one building; only 3 min walk from the ship. Here in Lomé, we need to take a vehicle. With a little tour in each place it took me half a day to visit all 3 locations.

First we went to see the Eye-Team. They perform specialized surgeries to correct blindness due to pterygium and cataracts. They also want to increase awareness about basic eye health issues and reduce the impact of harmful UV radiation and the related incidence of eye disease by distributing pairs of UV-blocking sunglasses and reading glasses.

Each week they go to different locations to screen patients (this week they were in a church building) and schedule some for surgeries while we are in Lomé.

People line up outside of the gates and the pre-screening nurse checks to see
if they are eligible to pass through to the next screening.
Kelli, checking each persons eyes for potential patients, especially looking for those who have cataracts on both eyes
We work with lots of local translators who take the patients' details for us
These kids leave happily after they each received cool sun glasses
Eye test. Instead of letters we have shapes, since many who come to us don't know how to read.
Let me tell you these shapes are hard to memorize :) (speaking from experience)

At another station one of the local day workers checks if people need prescription glasses.
For fun he checked mine and according to him I need -0.75. :((((((
Innocent from Benin (yes, that's his REAL NAME!) is quick to give me a pair.
I can still read the board without the glasses,
but I have to admit it was easier with the glasses on.

Another day worker helps distributing eye drops to patients.

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