VOSH/Southeast Mission to Paraguay
Clyde E. Bay Clinic
July 9-14, 2013
VOSH/Southeast just completed its most recent successful mission trip in Paraguay. This mission took place at the Clyde E. Bay Clinic in Yeguarizo, Acahay, Paraguay from July 9-14, 2013. It included 5 ½ clinic days with 350 – 600 patients seen every day. VOSH/SE has made several previous visits to Paraguay for eye care missions, with the two most recent trips in 2008 and 2011. Ms. Celmira Bay (Ellie), was a wonderful host who along with her family, took great care of all those involved at her clinic.
Our team consisted of 3 optometrists who were primarily involved in ocular health check-ups as well as managing & supervising other stations such as refraction and pre-testing. There were twelve third year students from University of Waterloo School of Optometry and nine second year students from SCCO. All students were very eager to learn and participate at the various stations they were assigned to. Furthermore, 4 undergrad students, one high school student, 2 experienced VOSH volunteers, one certified optician, 3 translators, and several local volunteers all played vital roles in organizing the clinic, managing patients, as well as assisting with other daily activities.
The clinic was organized into multiple stations. The patients underwent a thorough examination, which included – visual acuities, auto-refraction, tonometry, pachymetry, trial frame refraction, blood-glucose, blood pressures and an ocular health checkup using direct ophthalmoscopes and BIO’s. Cataracts and diabetic retinopathy were the two most frequently diagnosed conditions, with some prevalence of glaucoma as well. Among diseases and conditions involving the anterior segment such as conjunctivitis, keratitis, dry eye, allergies, for pterygium patients we prescribed the appropriate antibiotics/steroids/artificial tears drops generously donated specifically for this mission. Finally, all patients requiring corrective lenses were sent to the dispensary where the student volunteers helped find glasses with the closest match to their prescription. Thanks to the on-site availability of ophthalmologists from the Vision Program who volunteered their time and expertise to this mission, cataract surgeries were able to be performed promptly.
Some of the important statistics from this mission include:
- Total Clinic days: 5.5 days
- Total number of patients: approximately 2877
- Total pairs of glasses dispensed: 2811
- Total number of patient referrals for cataract surgery: 103
- Cataract surgeries performed secondary to this mission: 78 cataracts
- Continued treatment of glaucoma and other eye diseases by Vision Program: 75 patients
We greatly appreciate the warm hospitality shown by our hosts Celmira (Ellie) Bay and Scott & Laura Bloom of the Clyde E. Bay foundation. They took wonderful care of all doctors, students and volunteers with swift transportation to the mission site, comfortable accommodation at the clinic, as well as providing us with delicious food throughout the trip. Thanks to the partnership between Clyde E. Bay foundation and VOSH/SE this community’s urgent need for eye care was met.
We are grateful for the kind support and financial contributions from the following individuals, corporations and organizations: Allina Mission Matters; Allergan Inc.; Bausch and Lomb; Alcon; Gemini Inc.; Lions Club Recycling Center-WI; Rotary Club of West St. Paul and Mendota Heights; National Vision; RestoringVision.org; Eye Styles/Nikki Griffin; VOSH/Southeast; Clyde Bay Foundation; Mr. David George and Mr. Charles Covington. Their generous support allowed us to successfully provide adequate eye care to this part of the world.
As part of our drive to promote a more sustained model of global eye care, we are committed to and look forward to another opportunity at the same location in 2015.
Dr. John Spencer, Optometrist (Clinic Director and Mission Co-leader)
Dr. Lisa Weber, Optometrist (Mission Co-leader)
Dr. Christina Kinney, Optometrist
Pilar Lozano, ABOC
Mr. Charles Covington
Mr. Dave Shagaloff
3rd year Students from University of Waterloo, School of Optometry
Angela Chi Wing Fan
2nd year Students from Southern California College of Optometry