- 1885 eye examinations
- 23 ocular surgeries
- 31 plastic surgeries
- 135 general medical consultations
- Fondation pour le Développement Économique et Social (FODES-5)
- Secrétairerie d’État à l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées
- Comité National de Prévention de la Cécité en Haïti
- Hôpital Ste-Thérèse-de-Miragoâne
October 2009: Mission to Labrousse and Miragoâne, Haiti
By Dr. Jean-Pierre Tchang, Optometrist
A population living in isolation and extreme poverty
Anyone who has ever been to Labrousse in Haiti knows how difficult it is to get there. Though the roads are in far better shape than they were at the time of our first visit back in 2001, they are no less hard and demanding on the vehicles and volunteers trying to get there. However, there is no denying that the beauty of the countryside amply compensates for the bumps and potholes along the way. There are no stores, restaurants or hotels in this isolated region, and water and electricity are scarce and expensive commodities. Yet, the people, who live a very simple life much as their ancestors did 300 years earlier, are extremely likeable.
Two teams of energetic professionals put smiles on many faces
From October 20 to 27 of last year, a team of 35 IRIS Mundial volunteers travelled to Labrousse and Miragoane on a four day mission. Part of the team went to Labrousse to conduct eye exams, offer glasses, and select patients who could be operated on by our surgical team working out of the Miragoane regional hospital. Despite the poor means of communication between the two groups and the overbearing heat, nearly 1900 people were examined, of which 23 underwent eye surgery, 31 benefited from plastic surgery and 130 were entitled to a medical consultation. The team also included a dentist, who took advantage of his stay to examine the teeth of 60 people for the purpose of needs assessment for future trips there by teams of dentists.
You can just imagine the joy of a lovely 97 year old woman, operated on for a cataract, who finally regained her sight after far too many years. Over the course of this mission, more than 1500 prescription glasses were delivered and every one examined walked away with a pair of sunglasses. Try to picture the smiles on these patients who can now see and protect their eyes from the sun.
Thanks to our partners
We would like to express our heart-felt thanks to the SecrÃ©tairerie dâ€™Ã‰tat Ã lâ€™IntÃ©gration des Personnes HandicapÃ©es, the ComitÃ© National de PrÃ©vention de la CÃ©citÃ©, the Haitian community organization Fondation pour le DÃ©veloppement Ã‰conomique et Social (FODES-5), the Centre de SantÃ© Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes in Labrousse, the HÃ´pital RÃ©gional Ste-ThÃ©rÃ¨se in Miragoane, all of our Canadian and Haitian volunteers and our many donors.
Following the terrible earthquake of January 12, 2010, the needs of the Haitian people will be even greater. IRIS Mundial will not let them down.
This post is also available in: French