Date: 28 November 2016
Name: John Avudria
Email: javudria@gmail.com
Please tell us in which category to post your message: We are looking for a VOSH team to come to our area
What would you like your message to say?: We cannot be thankful enough for VOSH team that visited two Hospitals in West Nile Region in Northern Uganda a few years ago. The Mission was so successful and the demand for eye care services exceeded the resources.
Recently, there has been influx of refugees from South Sudan & DR Congo that has overwhelmed resources in the West Nile region. South Sudan is a region infested with Black Flies that cause River Blindness.  
Healthcare facilities in the West Nile districts cannot cope with demand for health services. We are are a small charitable organization known as Nile Care Inc (www.Nilecareinc.org).
We are looking for a VOSH chapter that is willing to team with us to Visit Arua & Maracha Hospitals one more time. We members of Nile Care will coordinate all logistics, Immigration paper work, Accomodation, Feeding and Local transportation from Entebbe Airport to Arua and back.
If you chapter is willing to help, Please contact:
John Jackson Avudria
Mobile: 262-220-0292
Email: javudria@gmail.com

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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