Discover Vision Visits Haiti (St Louis du Nord) – A team of local eye doctors recently visited a small town in Haiti to assist local patients there. As part of a mission group, the doctors served hundreds of orphans, senior citizens, workers and families with a variety of medical eye treatments, vision exams and eye surgeries.
This was the fourth trip to Haiti for Dr. Brett Dawson to work at the secluded Mission.
Northwest Haiti Christian Mission is the only one of its kind. It serves the rural area on the north side of the island opposite of the capital and most populated city, Port-au-Prince. A central gathering place for many locals, the Mission offers medical and dental facilities, a birthing center, orphanage/school, and programs for the elderly and those with disabilities.
“The people who live in and around St Louis du Nord have limited access to health care. I wanted to find a way I could give back and help those in need,” said Dr. Dawson, optometrist at Discover Vision’s Independence office. “And this program gives me the ability to help while doing something that I love and that I’m confident can make an impact.”
Along with Dr. Dawson, two other Discover Vision doctors, Optometrist Emily (Williams) Gum, and retina specialist and surgeon Dr. Ajay Singh, traveled to Haiti. Together, the team spent more than a week at the Mission’s eye clinic working with a variety of patients.
More than 1,000 people of all ages were seen for eye examinations in the eye clinic.
Problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, eye injuries, and eye infections can be extremely dangerous in Haiti. Poor health conditions and limited access to treatment can turn what should be a temporary problem into something much more severe.
Dr. Ajay Singh along with five other surgeons from the United States performed more than 200 eye surgeries.
Patients who travel from rural parts of the country lined up outside the clinic as early as 5 a.m. for eye exams and surgeries that begin at 7:30 a.m. and lasted throughout the day.
“I heard stories of some of the Haitians from the mountains who had to travel two to three days to get their eye surgeries at the clinic. But Haiti is not an easy place to navigate when you’re blind. Glaucoma is widespread and we see advanced stages at a much earlier age than we find in the U.S. We’re also seeing the worst of the worst cataracts where people are living without sight because their cataracts are so severe. But after surgery, they are able to have functional vision within a day or two. We expect their vision to improve significantly over the following month,” said Dr. Dawson, who lives in Lee’s Summit, Mo. and works out of the Independence, Mo. Discover Vision office.
The group also provided sunglasses, reading glasses, safety glasses, prescription eye glasses and eye drops for hundreds of patients at the Mission.
The Examiner recently featured a story on the Haiti mission team. For more on that story, check out this link to Local Eye Doctors Offer Aid and Are Thankful for the Opportunity.
About Discover Vision:
Discover Vision Centers has been serving the Kansas City community for the past 45 years. With more than 30 ophthalmologists and optometrists, Discover Vision’s doctors specialize in every aspect of routine, medical and surgical eye care. Discover Vision has performed more than 45,000 vision correction procedures and has been instrumental in pioneering the latest solutions in laser vision correction and advanced microsurgery. To schedule an appointment, call 816.283.EYES or click below.