Seven ICO students traveled to La Barca, Mexico for a Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH) mission over Thanksgiving break. Sarah El-Khazendar, Jane Fang, Noreen Tafalla, Anna Waters, Casey Wilgenbusch, Melissa Woodward, and Ashley Zimmerman (all ‘17) joined forces with optometry students from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia and doctors and opticians from Canada. In total, the mission saw over 2,700 patients ranging from children with BV disorders to the elderly with advanced ocular disease including glaucoma, severe cataracts, and AMD.
Earlier in November, Dr. Tracy Matchinski took 19 ICO students to Santo Domingo and Quinto, Ecuador. The group was accompanied by 13 optometry students from Quinto’s Metropolitan University, 4 additional optometrists, 2 nurses, and 29 volunteers. The mission was overwhelmingly successful.
All told, 2,382 patients were examined with 6,000 pairs of eyeglasses, sunglasses, and reading glasses distributed.
120 cataract referrals were made (with half of the surgeries already completed,) and numerous cases of glaucoma, infection and inflammation detected, with treatment initiated. This trip was made possible by VOSH, Rotary clubs in Santo Domingo and Quito, as well as numerous other local community service organizations.