World Sight Day Activities Report

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In El Salvador, FUDEM celebrated Eye Health Week with free consultations.

In Guatemala, Visualiza raised the funds required to donate 200 cataract surgeries. A massive campaign was organized to serve all those who need eye care to celebrate World Sight Day. The objective was to capture bilateral blind patients due to cataract.

All staff at both clinics participated in the celebration. The objective was to donate 200 cataract surgeries. They opened the doors at 6: 00 am. Several stations were organized to achieve a more dynamic flow of people. When they opened, they found a long line of people who had already been waiting from very early hours, some of them from 3:30 am.

Optometrists of the clinic examined patients in the queue outside and the people they detected with cataract were sent to the first station. In this station, some staff performed visual acuity tests. After this first evaluation they entered to the clinic to go to the next station. Each patient was examined by an ophthalmologist, who determined whether it was really cataract or not. These patients had already qualified to move to the next station, which tested blood glucose and eye pressure. It is necessary for each patient to undergo all processes to make sure that the surgery has neither risks nor complications.

After having passed through all stations, low-income bilateral blind patients were sent to the O.R immediately. The first patient was admitted at 6: 25 am and by 8: 30 pm they had managed to operate on 79 patients during the very same day.

All patients captured with these conditions that failed to be operated on that day because their blood pressure or sugar level was not right, were scheduled to be operated on the following days.

The Hospital de Peten performed 100 cataract surgeries using the same dynamic Visualiza uses in its clinic in the capital city. Visualiza performed 109 surgeries. This is how during the World Sight Day in 2013, 209 people who came hoping to regain their vision were served.

The Pan-American Institute Against Blindness Association organized free blood pressure and glycemic controls, talks about Diabetes, Hypertension, Glaucoma and others; raising awareness on eye care. Patients were presented with T-shirts with World Sight Day and the Institutional Logo prints.

They also offered discounts for procedures of the Glaucoma and Retina protocols as well as free consultations to poor patients. They held two radio interviews in the ALBA circuit and a television interview with CNN Guatemala. 156 patients were examined, mostly accompanied by one or two relatives. Attendees were also invited to be examined, as a universal right to eye health.

The G & G Visual Center offered free eye care through two ophthalmologists and one optometrist from 8:30 am to 1 pm.

37 patients were examined and the following conditions were detected:

  • Ametropia 18

  • Glaucoma 4

  • Cataracts 6

  • Diabetics 6

  • Pterygium 2

  • Obstruction of tear duct 1

  • Optical nerve atrophy 1

  • Dry eye 4

Cataracts and pterygium were scheduled to be operated in November.

In Mexico, Nitido Optical Clinic participated for the first time that day. 15 patients were treated free of charge and the necessary glasses were donated.

In Iztapalapa, Mexico, 43 OneSight volunteers served 700 patients. OneSight is an independent nonprofit providing access to quality eye care and eyewear in underserved communities worldwide.

In Nicaragua, The VI Visual Health Fair was held in Nicaragua where they performed:

  • 795 ophthalmological consultations

  • 303 refractive exams

  • 144 reading glasses and 96 frames were distributed.

During a celebration with cultural performances, awards were delivered to the employees of the National Ophthalmology Centre and other health centers that provide primary health care who had been involved in the recruitment of patients in need of cataract and pterygium surgeries. About 29 surgeries were performed, 20 cataract and 9 pterygium surgeries.

Some labs participated in delivering medicines, the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute and the Pipitos Medical Pedagogical Institute.

It was funded by PAHO, the City Hall of Managua, the Central Bank and the Energy Company.

In Peru, the Ophthalmic Medical Foundation Sacred Heart of Jesus - Abancay-Apurimac Peru, examined 136 patients of different age groups:

  • Less than 17 years - 19 patients

  • 18 to 49 years - 60 patients

  • More than 50 years - 57 patients 

 Most of them were found to suffer from refractive errors, cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

The Ophthalmology Department of the National University of San Agustin, Arequipa promoted and participated in the:

  • Detection of Low Vision in 326 high school children in the CHARLOTE School of the YURA district, 120 Kms from Arequipa. (- +6%).

  • Medical care for 37 children of the Sor Ana De Los Angeles Home in the city, 5 strabismus, low vision, nystagmus, leucoma.

  • Free eye care for 5 days to 104 patients, 48 women and 56 men

  • Ametropias 82 (47 plus presbyopia), 21 cataract and 9 glaucoma suspects. One day only for the detection of maculopathies in adults over 50 years.

  • A talk in the UNSA TV station and the radio on LOW VISION in adults

  • Parade on the main square with an allegorical cart with children of the UNSA pediatric ward and escorted by the members of the 1st "GLAUCOMA CLUB" of the Honorio Delgado Regional Hospital in Arequipa, where World Sight Day booklets were distributed.

The Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (IRO) scheduled several activities, including TV interviews, preparation of banners, which were distributed through the main health centers in our city, the largest of which was placed on the facade of our institution to celebrate the "World Sight Day".

Five campaigns with the purpose of screening, detecting and the diagnose of cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy for people older than 40 years were planned and coordinated with officials of the Health and Blindness Prevention Strategy of the 6 participating health facilities.

Visual acuity tests were performed to 364 patients, of whom 263 completed their eye exam; 21 cataract patients, 14 with suspected glaucoma and 1 with diabetic retinopathy were found and were referred to the IRO for the respective treatment.

In the Dominican Republic, The President of VISION 2020 Latin America, Dr. Juan Batlle organized a Diabetic Retinopathy Campaign. Diabetic patients were examined free of charge. The following institutions participated: The Laser Center, the Dominican Society of Ophthalmology, CECANOT, the Elias Santana Hospital, the Eye Clinic of Santo Domingo, the Blindness Institute, Hospital Cabral y Baez and the South Eye Surgery Centre.

Dr. Batlle was also interviewed by several broadcasting stations and other media, including 12 newspapers.

A screening campaign was carried out by the Foundation Por una Visión Mejor in the city of Santiago on 16 and 17 November. 836 people were examined, most of them around 40 years old and older. 367 reading glasses and 305 new frames were delivered.

68 people with different types of cataracts were treated (25 candidates for surgery) and 71 other patients, 30 of which have no eye problems, and 41 people with different eye conditions were referred to the office of the local ophthalmologist, who works with the foundation.

In Venezuela, in accordance with the WHO Action Plan, a promotional display in 9 different media providing information on Vision 2020 was carried out: "Universal Access to Eye Health." In addition, 14 workshops, 5 talks, 1 drawing competition for children, 25 billboards, 4 walks, and 2 concerts by the Orchestra System of Venezuela were performed. Likewise, the VI State Coordinators Meeting was held by videoconference. Screening and treatment were carried out in 45 institutions of the National Public Health System.

Several private entities conducted consultations at no cost, benefiting 725 patients of all ages. The main institutions that participated were Instituto Popular de los Ojos, CECOF, IDEO, La Trinidad Academic Medical Centre, Better Vision, ORQA, Lourdes Medical Center, mostly under the coordination of the Venezuelan Society of Ophthalmology and under the supervision of the National Committee for Visual Health and Prevention of Avoidable Blindness. More than 250 professionals participated, including ophthalmologists and optometrists.

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