Ophthalmology15 April, 2018
How Our Program Started..
Our program began with Dr. “Mighty Joe” Young, one of the many dedicated volunteer practitioners from Newtown, Connecticut. Eye disease is endemic in our regions and we have been anxious to work on prevention and treatment. Joe has worked very hard to establish our first eye clinics, beginning with screening nearly 500 children in S. Opatoro through the Lempira School in La Florida. The school offers two large classrooms for our eye and dermatology clinics which are in very high demand.
Joe has sent back prescription glasses for dozens of children, offering them the opportunity to preserve their vision beyond young adulthood. Along with his young Honduran interpreter Alejandro Sabillon, Joe has taught local nurses how to perform visual acuity tests in order to build a database and a snapshot of the population’s eye health.
We are beginning a program with the voluntarios, representatives from each village, to address prevention concerns. CHPH has been bringing sunglasses and ballcaps to offer protection against the constant exposure to the sun while working outside all day, but getting the population to use sunglasses has been a challenge.
Our voluntario partners will begin a campaign to educate their villages and help us convey the importance of prevention and protection. We are bringing 150 ballcaps with our logo and over 500 sunglasses and educational materials for our October 2017 brigade. The voluntarios will be our partners in prevention and we look forward to the next goal in bringing a surgical eye team to address the severe issue of cataracts and associated vision concerns.
Joe has taken his passion a step further, creating a “sister school” between students in Newtown and La Florida with a penpal project. This initiative has been featured on NPR’s Here & Now program.