April 19th, 2017:
One of my days in Vietnam earlier this month was spent documenting the Global Community Service Foundations eye care projects. The GCSF sponsors both rural school visits for children as well as training for nurses and doctors to be able to carry out eye care on their own.
The day I headed into the field with foundation staff members Tam and Kimmy, and Dr. Quang and Dr. Mi Sen, we attended to 70 children at a local school. All were given eye exams and about 10% of those were in need of glasses. Those in need of glasses were tested to find the right strength and were able to choose from 10 styles (the foundation has found if the children are able to pick out their own glasses they are far more likely to actually wear them). Two weeks following this visit the doctors will come back with the glasses and fit them for the children. Later, other post evaluations will take place to make sure the kids are still using their glasses.
The eye care missions are sponsored by the Global Community Service Foundation and will serve approximately 3500 students in 2017. If eye problems greater than vision are discovered, they sponsor children to head into Dong Ha and be treated at the hospital or clinic as necessary.
The Quang Tri Medical School eye care training room and equipment sponsored by the Global Community Service Foundation.
Area nursing students, during their 3 year training, take part in eye care training over a 6 month period. Once trained, the nurses can assist eye doctors and provide basic eye check ups. I spent a while with these students as they learned to use the different pieces of equipment and tested each others vision.
As someone who is relatively blind without contacts, watching the expressions of children being able to see clearly for the first time filled me with joy. I am proud to work with the Global Community Service Foundation and if you are in the market for giving, I will vouch for the work they do.
Next up, I head into the jungle, our truck gets stuck in leech infested mud and we document the reforestation efforts in the Huang Trial province.
Dr. Mi Sen on the eye care mission to the Gio Linh district.