A team of FYidoctors eye care professionals have returned from Jamaica where they provided eye care to those who don’t have access. The group saw over 1,000 patients over four clinic days and distributed 194 readers, 271 custom prescriptions and 65 referrals to local ophthalmologists
As part of a project organized by Canadian Vision Care, Dr. Craig Meckelborg and Dr. Colleen Renchko were joined by Practice Coach Koreen Dueck and opticians Marsha Eng and Jennifer Cooper.
The Canadian Vision Care and the Brenda Strafford Foundation worked together for several years to open a permanent eye care facility in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The two weeks prior to their trip, another group of 18 optometrists, trainers, IT specialists, surgical equipment technicians, and volunteers worked hard in a final push to get the clinic up and running.
The clinic consisted of four optometry examination rooms, one ophthalmic surgery suite, and a dispensary.
“My Jamaican experience reminded me of why I became an optometrist,” said Dr. Renchko. “To help people, to improve lives in any way I can, and to take time to listen.”
For her, one of the most memorable moments was when a 24-year-old mother with a baby on her lap told her that she had an eye exam six years ago, but her father could not afford glasses and hoped the team could help her see better.
“The reason I love my job is due to my interaction with people, the stories they tell, and my ability to help them in any way I can,” she said.
Canadian Vision Care have been sending volunteers to places around the world since 1981 to provide primary eye care (eye exams and glasses) and surgical care to hundreds of thousands of individuals. Through optometry, ophthalmology, and opticianry, volunteers work together to deliver thorough, comprehensive, and integrated care in the developing world. So far, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Philippines, Africa, and Guyana are just a few places that volunteers have visited to offer help and support.
You can discover further community initiatives we support on our website. To learn about another FYidoctors staff member who helped run a clinic in Peru, check out our blog.