Optometrists needed for a trip to the Guerrero Clinic in Chihuahua, Mexico from June 6th-9th. Optometry students from SUNY want to come, but they need mentors. Please read the message from Dr. Tom Pruett below:

“I hope you have received my many requests to come to Mexico to help with our VOSH clinics, but this time we have a special need! There are a group of optometry students who want to come from SUNY college of optometry, but we do not have mentors for them! This is such a great opportunity for students to learn and see so many things they would not ordinarily get to see. Please consider coming! This clinic was designed for families and many of us have taken our extended families in years past. It is also an opportunity to visit Copper Canyon, one of nature’s most awesome sights. We have been conducting clinics in this little farming community since 1989 and have never seen any violence or felt unsafe at any time. It is located in the “Valley of the Apples”, 100 miles west of Chihuahua. The food is outstanding, the accommodations good and the experience unbelievable! Please mention it to friends and visit: www.guerreroclinic.org for travel info. The clinic will start on June 6th and end on June 9th with only post-ops on the last day. We will have 3 ophthalmologists eagerly awaiting your cataract patients and you might even be able to twist their arms to do an occasional ptergium. You can even do your own YAGS if you wish! Please come!”

Contact Tom Pruett, OD
twpruett@comcast.net 

 

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