We are planning a trip to Fort Portal, Uganda that will leave the US on February 22 or 23 and return on March 10, 2019. We are looking for licensed optometrists and other healthcare providers. Our primary goal is to provide eye care. There will be seven working days which will leave a couple days for safari trips to nearby national parks. In country costs have not been nailed down, but a rough estimate at this time is around $1500. This estimate does not include safari costs which are reasonable due to the closeness of the parks. Airfare is provided through the generosity of Emirates Airline Foundation. Any non-licensed individual who wishes to go will have to provide their own airfare.
If an ophthalmologist  is available to provide cataract surgeries they would be very much appreciated. Also, if anyone wishes to arrive in Uganda early or leave later that can be arranged, but the core cost and expected work time will have to correspond with the group. Expenses outside the group will be up to the individual. For more details contact Clyde B. Slavin, OD. clyde.slavin@gmail.com 360-909-3776


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 and boosted, 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 and its variants are 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 or 2022.

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 Organization: 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.

Michael Ciszek, OD, dipl ABO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

December 2021