HISTORIC VOSH-ILLINOIS: JUNE CHAPTER OF THE MONTH

An extraordinary four decades of history and level of activity lead to a well deserved recognition for VOSH-Illinois as Chapter of the Month. Read on for the summary from Chapter President Andrew Kohn:

The Illinois chapter of VOSH was founded in 1976 and has provided eyecare locally and on missions to over 40 countries. Over the past 12 months, VOSH Illinois has completed service trips to Guatemala, Baja California, and El Salvador. An additional trip to Mexico is planned for November of 2017. Recent local activity includes screenings and care for disabled individuals in a nursing facility, a group of refugees, and a group of impoverished young mothers and their children. Our membership feels privileged to have the opportunity to serve those in need and looks forward to doing so for many years to come!

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