REIMS

The Richmond Eyeglass Inventory Matching System (REIMS) was created specially for the ASAPROSAR Visual Health Program:

REIMS is freeware and can be downloaded from the Friends of ASAPROSAR web site:

http://www.asaprosar.org/our-impact/visual-health/

Download the Manual (PDF) and the full program (Zip File).

The program is named REIMS (Richmond Eyeglass Inventory Matching System) for the late Dr. Phil Richmond, optometrist who was co-founder of the New England chapter of VOSH and the late Howard (Skip) Charles, computer scientist. It was developed for the Friends of ASAPROSAR (Asociacion Salvadoreña Pro Salud Rural — Salvadoran Association for Rural Health). It was written in FoxPro 2.6 for Windows version 7.64 and runs on all platforms with some adaptation.

Friends of ASAPROSAR began supporting the activities of Dr. Vicky Guzman whose mission was to improve the health of poor Salvadorans in Santa Ana, El Salvador during the civil war. As the war neared its end in 1989 a core group of optometrists and ophthalmologists were given assurance of safety to conduct the first eye clinic in El Salvador. This January 2015 it will be 26 years that Friends has annually conducted missions to provide eyeglasses, medical treatment and eye surgery tor the indigent of El Salvador. At first the inventory of recycled glasses and readers numbered in the 3000’s. As the program grew by 1995 the inventory increased to 10,000. Finding an appropriate match for patients became a lengthy process until a computer program called REIMS was invented. No longer were recycled glasses categorized by prescription. Instead they were entered into a database by serial numbers. After it was found to be successful in 1996 VOSH chapters and other humanitarian groups began computerizing recycled eyeglasses.

The most labor-intensive part is entering the inventory. Importing data from other computers made it possible for the work to be divided which is done between annual campaigns. Once the inventory has been entered, REIMS is ready to find the best match. Matching can be done for either or both eyes. If one pair cannot be found for distance and close vision, the program can look for two pairs. Backup and restore features make for fast and simple work. A spare computer is always on hand.

Over the years, additional features have been added as work in the field is observed. Dispensed glasses are recorded so that inventory is replenished between annual clinics. The main task is to find the best match for each Rx. Entering the Rx in a screen like the one below does that. It is simple and straightforward enough that any of the dispensing team can do it. The program keeps track of how close it comes to the exact prescription. A Philscore of zero is a perfect match (named after Phil Richmond). If the prescription has a high Philscore the glasses are custom made.

In 2005 VOSH/International recognized Phil Richmond and Skip Charles as Humanitarian of The Year.

Updated COVID-19 and VOSH Humanitarian Clinics Advice

VOSH/International recently consulted its US and International Chapters about the feasibility and timing to restart our humanitarian clinics. While the vaccination process continues with different levels of success depending on availability and acceptance, it is evident that vaccine inequity and the availability and reliability of data in several countries are issues we need to consider.

Even if already vaccinated, our chapters are still concerned about the wellbeing of our volunteers and patients.  Some chapters, are organizing clinics locally where they are better able to comply with the existing safety requirements and respective state/country regulations.

The COVID-19 pandemic is being experienced quite differently depending on state, region, country, vaccine availability, vaccine acceptance, and the spread of SARS-COV-2 variants. Most VOSH chapters are not holding clinics or traveling internationally in 2021.

Thus, VOSH/International is slightly moderating its overall guidance against clinics and travel issued in late March 2020 and renewed in January 2021. This will be reviewed and communicated on a quarterly basis.

If a VOSH Chapter choses to hold a clinic or travel internationally, we highly recommend that the chapter performs due diligence to comply fully with the requirements established by the visited country, ensures all VOSH volunteers are aware of and follow strict safety guidelines and all existing protocols and regulations of the country, and keeps the principle of “do no harm” embedded in all its decision making. As always, the wellbeing and 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. VOSH chapters in specific countries are using protocols that need to be considered as well. You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here.

*VOSH/International is formed by autonomous US and international chapters that are fully and only responsible for their activities, fundraising and decision-making.  VOSH/International can only provide recommendations based on our best knowledge and information at the time.

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 hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.

John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

July 2021