Funds being raised for permanent clinic & surgical center in Nigeria!
In our last issue, we announced the establishment of the first permanent Global Eye Care clinic in the Zambian community of Rundu. We are happy to announce that we have arranged for land in Anambra State, Nigeria, where we’ll build another permanent eye clinic! We chose this site because it’s one of the most densely populated areas of the region, yet medically ill-equipped to serve residents in terms of eye care. The few clinics that do exist in Nigeria have no diagnostic equipment, and medicine is in very short supply. That means the large number of Nigerians most of whom are underprivileged with obvious white cataracts and glaucoma don’t have access to proper eye care. We wanted better for them than a life of blindness. We have high hopes that a new eye care facility in Nigeria will alleviate the backlog of treatable cases of cataracts and glaucoma. As with the Rundu facility, we want the Nigerian clinic to be fully stocked with supplies and ophthalmologic surgical equipment and instruments, which will allow us to provide state-of-the-art care to all of Nigeria’s residents, especially the less fortunate. With your continued donations of time, skills, equipment, supplies, and effort, you can help make this goal a reality. Construction for this new facility is slated to begin next year. In case the construction isn’t completed by the time we’re there for our 2001 mission, we plan to use a local hospital for treating patients. If you have supplies and/or equipment you can donate, please contact us right away!
Mission to Peru expected to treat hundreds
We are excitedly planning our mission to Peru in February 2001! The regional ministry of Health has offered to be our host. We plan to operate on more than 200 patients and run another Cataract Prevention Campaign. While there, we’ll also scout future eye clinic locations in under-served areas of the region. Logistics for this mission are being worked out right now. And a special thanks goes out to Dr. Alfredo Amigo and Dr. Luis Arevalo for their assistance in every aspect of the program. We’ll have details for you soon. Be sure to check our Web site from time to time for the most updated information at www.globaleyecare.org! Or call us at (718) 721-0421.
If you’d like to join us on our mission to Peru, or any of our upcoming missions, please contact us! We’d be more than happy to have you along, and you’ll find the experience as enriching as it is gratifying to your soul. Just ask those who have volunteered their time and skills during our previous missions.
“Unir lo util a lo agradable”
At least that’s what they say in Dr. Jose Mugica’s country of Argentina about people helping people. It is his belief in extending a helping hand to those less fortunate that prompted him to join Global Eye Care’s mission to help the people of Zambia. “We do this type of work regularly in our country,” says Dr. Mugica. “It is difficult to us to tell why we do it for the first time, but after we’ve tasted the experience, we continue volunteering our services as a way of life.” Dr. Mugica says that his people believe the practice of medicine shouldn’t end in a doctor’s office and that doctors in his field should spread the word about blindness prevention and rehabilitation. “I was very happy to be a part of that process in Zambia.”
When asked what cases he found most intriguing in Zambia, Dr. Mugica had a hard time choosing. “All the cases were interesting so were the people. And I found the high incidence of severely advanced cataracts among such young men and women fascinating, especially since it’s a treatable disease.” Dr. Mugica reports feeling a great sense of reward about his volunteer work with the Global Eye Care team in Zambia. “We learn as much as we can in everyday practice, so we can do the best job possible when we volunteer,” he says. “And when we return to our countries, we generate interest in future missions by sharing photos and experiences with other ophthalmologists. One way we do this is through lectures and presentations in our communities.”
We were grateful that Dr. Jose Mugica chose to join us on our recent Zambian eye-care expedition. It was obvious that his patients were thankful, too! They expressed their feelings in song as he stood by their bedsides.
Cataract and Blindness Prevention Campaigns to continue
Just as in our recent mission to Zambia, we will continue to host Cataract and Blindness Prevention Campaigns wherever we go. That’s because we see a worldwide need. We expect that those who receive our gifts of sunglasses, hats, visors, and multivitamins will help educate others that blindness is preventable. If we get that one point across, the incidence of preventable blindness throughout the world will decrease in great numbers.