Mike Feilmeier, a second year resident at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, conducts an eye exam at the clinic in Casse, Haiti. Each patient began with a basic eye exam before proceeding to be tested for glaucoma and other eye diseases. Each patient left the clinic with either sunglasses or prescription glasses. Photo by Jennifer Browning
By Jennifer Browning
Casse, HAITI–Four SUVs bounced along the rocky roads toward the Dominican Republic border to a small town called Casse. Today is the first of three days the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute will travel around Haiti’s Central Plateau to do eye exams.
People were already crowded around the clinic when the group arrived.
“I was excited to see a lot of people there,” second year resident Mike Feilmeier said. “To me it meant that they had done a good job spreading the word that we were going to be there which meant that there was a significant need for us to be here.”
The mission for this visit is to check for eye problems such as glaucoma, check the patients vision and prescribe glasses if necessary. Today every patient left with something. For those who were diagnosed with good vision, they received a pair of sunglasses. The sunglasses not only protect the eyes from the sun’s rays, but here they have equal importance in protecting the people’s eyes from the dust swirled around by wind or passing cars.
“By being able to provide them with prescription glasses, hopefully we are giving them a better quality of life,” Dr. Michelle Caputo said. “They can be more efficient in productivity by allowing them to provide more than families. We hope that providing these services that it has a cascading effect. The seamstress who has a hard time seeing the eye of her needle she has to thread hopefully has an easier time now that she has the glasses that she needs.”
Eight doctors and students from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute are donating their time this weekend to the people of Haiti.