(This report was emailed to Executive Director, Natalie Venezia, following VOSH-Santa Cruz’s mission to Peru in August 2016.)

Hello Natalie,

Just returned from our mission to Peru. We were able to receive 2,761 patients during the clinic. We were 44 on the team. It was a clinic where we received a lot of children, and I have a number of glasses to make since it seems all the children had minus 4 – minus 6 cyls!! It was the second time we used our new Spot Vision check, and it was quite impressive. We have managed to use it with a portable WIFI, which enables us to print all the info on a self-adhesive label. Welch Allyn told us that it was not possible to do so, but our technician proved them wrong. We are starting a new project in the fall to reach out to schools in Montreal that are in poorer areas of the city to assure that the school children who need glasses have them. We are going to do screening in the schools and then give them a coupon that will enable them to receive a free eye exam, which is paid for by the government for children. Then the foundation will pay for the glasses.

By the way, I am overstocked in new frames, plus I have a quantity of analyzed single vision minus glasses (men’s and women’s), as well as women’s positive and negative bifocals. They are all labelled.

P.S. A filming crew came to Peru to film for two days and will do another two days of filming at our warehouse Sep 17-18. They are preparing a short film on VOSH-Santa Cruz in French and English.

Bye for now,

Pierre

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