Sight Keepers International (SKI), a Long Island nonprofit that provides eye care services in developing countries, partnered with the Health Care Ministry to bring eye care services to residents of Jacmel.
From June 29 to July 26, a team of ophthalmologists will travel to Majj Ecole Primaire Mixte de Grande Savanne in Jacmel to provide free examinations, glaucoma screenings, and dispense eye medications to local residents.
“While many relief agencies provide medical care in Haiti, eye care is often overlooked,” Dr. Wisly G. Augustin a Brooklyn ophthalmologist and SKI’s president and founder, said. “SKI is excited to fill that void.”
According to the Global Eye Project, a nonprofit that works to educate people about eye care and preventative measures, Haiti has roughly 50 ophthalmologists for a country of 10 million – that works out to about 1 eye doctor for every 200,000 people.
“As an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon from Brooklyn, where so many of us Haitians live, I was among a group of early responders who travelled to Haiti immediately after the earthquake,” Augustin said. “I was alarmed that survivors who sustained eye injuries were receiving negligible attention because eye care services were not available.”
The ophthalmologists will also distribute free eyeglasses, which they collected during a campaign earlier this year. The campaign, which launched on Haitian Flag Day, was held at Erasmus High School in Brooklyn.
“We’re grateful to everyone who contributed to making this mission possible,” Augustin said. “We anticipate an even more productive humanitarian mission in Haiti.”