February 3-11, 2018 to Gomez Palacio, Mexico, VOSH-SD, Contact Jennifer Ness, moore300zx@yahoo.com, or sdvosh@gmail.com 605-210-3141
 
The Gomez Palacio Lions Club covers all of our transportation, food and lodging for the week. Doctors are only responsible for their airfare.
 
This is the 43rd mission to Gomez Palacio MX. We team up with the local Lions Club to serve the patients. Doctors need to bring basic equipment such as BIO, retniscope, trial lens kit. There is a slit lamp and auto-refractor at the Lions Club. Patient load is based on how many doctors we have. 
 
Here’s a brief breakdown of the week:
Saturday- arrival day- we will land in Torreon fairly late but the Lions Club will feed us and check us in to the hotel.
Sunday- Mass at nearby church, lunch and set up the clinic then some sort of outing or watch the Super Bowl
Monday & Tuesday- clinic 9am to around 6pm with an hour or so break for lunch
Wednesday- clinic 9am to around 6pm with lunch, then a big party that night (wear dancing shoes)
Thursday- clinic 9am to around 6pm with lunch
Friday- clinic 9am to around 1pm, after lunch tear down clinic, rest on the afternoon is free until banquet (semi formal)
Saturday- shopping, sight seeing, bbq, relax
Sunday- fly home

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