Three million dollars worth of eye care supplies has been donated to the Ministry of Health to help treat persons with eye problems.
The Rotary Clubs of Grenada made this possible through the assistance of the Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) North Carolina Chapter under its 2014 Vision Project.
VOSH is an international organisation of dedicated volunteers whose purpose is to eliminate preventable blindness and to assist those who cannot afford or obtain eye care.
The team, now on its 15th visit to the island, held a number of eye care clinics from March 31 to April 4, as well as from June 16-18 to perform several eye surgeries including 30-35 laser treatments to patients with Glaucoma and 10 Cataract surgeries.
Ophthalmologist under the VOSH team, Heath Urgas spoke to the local media about the surgeries that he undertook.
“In the last few days in the operating room, we had very successful surgeries and made a big impact and I just want to thank God for allowing us the opportunity to get to be able to do this”, he said.
“We treated 30-35 patients who had glaucoma, we saw 10 people who had pretty severe cataract to the point where it affected their vision and they couldn’t move around as they wanted to, some of them were very young. We had two patients in their 20’s and I think the oldest was about 85,” Urgas explained.
A handing over ceremony for the supplies was held at the Flamboyant Hotel last Wednesday where eyeglasses, prescriptions sunglasses, eye drops, cleaning solutions and lenses were presented to the Ministry.
The items will be used to treat persons affected by Cataracts and Glaucoma.
Expressing contentment with the outcome of the project was past President and Chair 2014 vision project, Julia Lawrence who said that the project has impacted on the lives of many persons on the island.
“We are extremely satisfied with what has taken place, some of this can be deemed a miracle because we have not only given people the aid but we have also almost given back sights in some cases,” she remarked.
President of the Rotary Club of Grenada East, Leslie Ramdhanny expressed his pleasure in being apart of such a movement that brings hope to persons who were losing it.
“A lot of these persons were persons who could not afford to pay the normal cost of seeing an ophthalmologist and so this was a very welcomed project to be able to provide vision care service to people who we know are in dire need of the service,” he said.
Noting that eyesight is very important, Ramdhanny said, “I think the most important sense as far as I’m concerned (is sight) and without proper eye sight you are very much impaired.”
Former Health Minister and current employee with the Ministry of Health, Ann David-Antoine, who accepted the items on behalf of the Ministry of Health, said the difference that these services make is already tremendous.
“I have been involved as a volunteer with this programme with the Rotary Club as well as from the Ministry’s stand point in various capacities and I have seen first hand the difference that these supplies and the volunteers spirit and the work that has been done by VOSH and Rotary, the difference that has been made to individuals to their families and to their communities,” she said.