In four days of work, in three different locations in Ixcán, Guatemala, Enfoque Ixcán and Amigos Eye Care examined over 1060 people. Three hundred seventy people received eyeglasses.
The weather was hot and humid, as usual, but was cooled occasionally by periods of rain. With only six students, three doctors and four other volunteers I wasn’t sure we’d be able to handle such a large number of patients. However, the team worked well together, with impressive efficiency.
On two of the days we traveled away from our home base and examined primary and middle school students, and as many adults as time would allow. The other two days included a majority of adults. Approximately 30 patients will be sent out for eye surgeries. Cataracts were the most frequent reason for referral for surgeries. Enfoque Ixcán eye health promoter, Felipe, will be making a trip to the eye clinic within a month to start treatment of the cataract patients.
A Successful Trip in More Ways Than One
Another record set during this successful trip was that none of the Amigos students became sick! They were not only efficient, but also resilient. If only two of the doctors had done so well – as it turned out, the two most veteran travelers endured a day of unstable stomach issues, but were able to continue working.
The reward for all the good work was a trip to the Mayan ruins at Tikal for four of the students and everyone else went to the beach on the Pacific coast.