This #GivingTuesday, Reading Medicine Prescriptions is...Within Our Reach“C’mon, Mom!”
“I’ll be there in a minute. I can’t find my glasses.”
“Mom, they’re on top of your head.”
For years this was the conversation we had as we headed out the door for school. I have glasses for reading, computer work, and driving. I am that rich. I can afford glasses to see clearly.
Children in schools who cannot afford glasses and yet need them fall behind quickly. People who work with machines but cannot see can details lose not only their job but their fingers and hands. Older people cannot read the prescriptions of their medications. When you can’t see clearly, you miss so much.
Our health clinic has a vision check and eye glasses clinic. We were given an auto-refractor that measures the patient’s prescription need, to match with pre-ground lenses, and we have donated used eye glasses to give to people who can’t afford to buy their exact prescription.
Christina is a lay health promoter who has been trained by Becca and Pat to help people obtain the glasses they need. A Cuban ophthalmologist, Dr. Carvajal, originally trained Becca and Pat, and serves as our reference for our clinic’s work. In this year alone so far, Christina has helped 798 people, working three mornings a week. 59 were children under 12 years old.
Christina is also trained to shape the pre-ground lenses to fit frames that are a bit more modern… for these we charge a small amount. She has handed out 918 pairs of glasses, and of these, 107 were hand-made.
With few volunteers coming this past year bringing donations, we are getting low on our supply of donated used glasses. And we have run out of the most commonly needed prescription strengths of the pre-ground lenses to use in the new frames. Our patients need glasses for distance, reading, bifocals, and sunglasses (critical in the tropics re cataracts).
Mike and I are with two of our grandchildren in California right now and I love being able to see their smiles clearly and read books to them. I wish this joy for everyone. You can help give the gift of sight for #GivingTuesday by donating to restock our lenses and continue Christina’s invaluable work.