We were in Nicaragua July 23-August 1. I had 3 licensed OD's from
Michigan, Ireland, and New Hampshire. Also in attendance was a 3rd year
optometry student and 2 pre-optometry students plus one optician. There
were 10 lay people that helped also.
We worked at the Chinandega Police Headquarters on Saturday and
Sunday. The amount of poor distance vision in the police force was
disturbing. Several police officers were referred for trauma
situations. Citizens were also seen at this location.
We then spent Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday in Corinto, the port
city of Nicaragua. There is no documentation of any medical brigade
giving vision care in this area. We found that very apparent based upon
the patient population. We were scheduled to see 750 patients at this
location but only completed just over 620 exams due to their chronic
needs. Normally, I get just over 10 referrals per trip, but we referred
93 total patients for this trip. Many referrals were for things other
than cataracts. This included retinal trauma, degenerative diseases,
and botched surgeries. Our OD's and students took the time and care
required to work with these patients and give a thorough examination
instead of rushing them along to 'get more numbers'. The quality of
care was top-notch. We will be going back to Corinto to continue to
service that area. They are in dire need of vision care.