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Why Mobile Eyecare Clinics?


On our first trip to Ethiopia in 2014, we went to volunteer in the Jewish Community in Gondar and our kids and we were running camp-type activities for hundreds of children. On our last day someone heard that Morris was an eye doctor, and they lined up by the hundreds requesting to "have their eyes checked." We were shocked to hear that none of them had ever been to an eye doctor. We learned that they did not have the knowledge, money, or transportation to figure out where and how to see an eye doctor. 

We decided to bring eyecare to them on-site, and that was the start of our Mobile Eyecare Clinics, which we now run in and around Gondar, Ethiopia. 

How do our Mobile Eyecare Clinics Work?

We come to a pre-determined location where the locals have been notified of the day and times of our clinic. Our unique advantage is that we can set up literally almost anywhere. Typically it is in a covered space or city building, but we once examined 100 patients in a grain storage room. We bring with us large quantities of the three most common medications needed to treat the eye problems we find in Ethiopia, as well as equipment for doing basic refraction (eyesight exams), and far-sighted and near-sighted eyeglasses, as well as sunglasses. 

We often bring volunteers with us who help distribute medications and eyeglasses, keep the flow of patients organized, and do basic vision screenings. We employ local youth from the Gondar Jewish community to act as our translators. We find that we can treat about 80% of the patients who we see right away with one of three basic eye medications, or with vision corrective eyeglasses. We make lists of patients who either need surgery or follow up with a more in depth eye exam for more complicated issues.  

We have treated over 8,000 patients so far in our primary eyecare on-site clinics. We work mostly in the Gondar area and outer villages, and plan to expand location and efforts.

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