VOSH-Santa Cruz-Québec Chapter of the Month, for extraordinary humanitarian accomplishment.

Read about the history and the numbers of patients served below as submitted by this amazingly active VOSH Chapter. 

It is with great pride that VOSH Santa Cruz announces to have received over 200,000 patients in more than 54 missions in 8 different countries offering a free eye exam and a pair of glasses since 1999.

We produce more than 8,000 pairs of new glasses in our workshop which are then given to the poor. Our warehouse of 4,000 square feet, enables us to select, analyze, and class over 15,000 pairs of glasses which we bring to each mission. As well, we distribute over 150,000 pairs of glasses to other groups. More than 100 volunteers help us to achieve all this work. We receive most of our glasses thanks to various Lions Clubs in Québec and Ontario.

For the past 10 years, most of the OD students from Montreal University and from Waterloo participate in our missions, helping the ODs, opticians, and volunteers in our various missions to South America, Europe, and Africa. We also have help from OD students f rom ICO and Brisbane, Australia. In 2016, VOSH Santa Cruz was the first humanitarian group to be received by the Republic of Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe, and we are returning April 28th 2017.

Updated COVID-19 and VOSH Humanitarian Clinics Advice

Due to an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 infections, a new variant that is more contagious, and these being early days in the vaccination distribution, VOSH/International DOES NOT recommend that chapters participate in domestic or international eye and vision clinics at this time.

We reiterate that at a time when the coronavirus continues to spread quickly in many parts of the world and vaccinations are not yet available to local populations, the risk of close contact with patients in a crowded outpatient environment remains high.

If a VOSH Chapter or VOSH volunteer chooses to hold a clinic against our best guidance, this is done at your own risk, by your own decision and should be in line with current local/national government rules.  VOSH/International would like to reiterate that safety for VOSH volunteers and our patients is of utmost importance and central to any decision-making process.

We have published our updated clinic guidelines with best practices to be observed in this new context.  You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here

Also please keep checking the following sites with official and most recent updates:

World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

US CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/when-to-delay-travel.html

US Government Travel Advise: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html

Thank you for your patience in these unprecedented times, hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.

John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

January 2021