August 13: Our Third Day of Eye Clinics

We just finished our 3rd day of clinics in Ixcán. It has been very busy. The first day we saw nearly 300 people, the 2nd day over 300 and today probably close to 300. Everyone is doing well with all the hard work and no sickness to this point. That is due in part to our great cook at the restaurant Girasoles. These two ladies make meals like we’ve never seen before in these parts.

We’ve identified nearly 30 people who need cataract surgeries. The next scheduled trip to the eye clinic is in October and our eye health promoter, Felipe may have 2 bus loads of people for the trip. To help him, his son, David, has joined us. David has been with us all week and we’ve really needed him. We’re short on Spanish skills this year, so he has been doing lots of case histories.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There have been several people in dire need of glasses whom we have helped, like a couple of little girls in grade school who are very farsighted. The new glasses help keep them from having crossed eyes. Our optometry students have been really enjoying making such a difference in the lives of these people.
Tomorrow is our last day and usually it is our busiest day. We hope we don’t run out of glasses. The sunglasses supply is already almost gone as well as the eye drops.

On the business side we had a good meeting with the local public health officials. They are excited about our planned new clinic. The completion of the new hospital should be next summer and they want us to start construction as soon as the hospital is finished. It’s so nice to finally have an expected date. Tomorrow the health office is going to give me a copy of the hospital campus plan and we’ll be able to see where our construction will be. More on that later.

Now, it’s time to close before I lose my connection. I’ve been lucky so far.