Our volunteer experience…
The work done here is a function of the type of issues patients bring and the resources available. Flexibility is a must. Regardless, these people are welcoming, very friendly and appreciative. Patients are often already lined up at the door when we arrive. Some will spend the night on the porch outside the clinic in order to be seen the next day. In fact, one patient brought his mother two weeks earlier than our team’s arrival. An example of how eager they are for care.
We’ve seen a variety of ailments. Some include injuries due to aggression or foreign objects stuck in the eye (sticks, bugs, glass) as well as a fair share of cataracts. The equipment that the IVV clinic houses centers around spectacles, cataracts, glaucoma, and the removal of growths.
Sometimes, nothing can be done to help a patient. Western medicine has not been able to reach all corners of the world. Despite the fact that in the US we can readily fix a macular hole or retinal detachment, nothing can be done here without the correct equipment. It is heartbreaking to turn away these patients when you know the only limiting factor is geography.