The Belmopan Lions Club is hosting its annual eye clinic. Every year the Club partners with a group of both Professional and Student Doctors from VOSH (Volunteering Optometric Service to Humanity),†† Southern College of Optometry in Memphis Tennessee. The clinic started on Monday and runs for four days. Plus news spoke with President of the Belmopan Lions Club, Mrs. Zoe Zetina who tells us why they continue to partner with the university.

Mrs. Zoe Zetina – President of the Belmopan Lions Club:
vlcsnap-2013-05-07-19h40m18s117We see it as a necessity in this area.† The Lions Club sight first organisation, so we continue to make sight our primary focus, and the volunteers are willing to come.† They contact us every year to make sure that they can still come.† Last year we saw 816 people.† So we think that it’s something that we should continue to do, and we will.

The clinic is being held at the Lionís Den in Belmopan and is providing eye tests, screening and prescription lens for a mere gift contribution of five dollars Belize which goes towards covering the cost of hosting the volunteer group. Dr. Patrick Fowler is an active staff doctor and he told us about some of the diseases he has been seeing in patients.

Dr. Patrick Fowler – Staff Doctor:
vlcsnap-2013-05-07-19h40m27s213Actually, one thing I’ve noticed quite a bit of is that we have a lot of cataract formation here.† We do screen for that, and look for that.† We also have a lot of diabetes here, and a lot of high blood pressure here.† One good thing about us taking a look is if we don’t take care of our diabetes, our blood pressure if it’s not controlled, it can directly affect the eyes and cause bleeding and some damage.We’ve seen quite a bit of that here, so far only on the second day.

Dr. Fowler also spoke on precautionary measures that persons can take to help minimize such diseases.

Dr. Patrick Fowler – Staff Doctor:
vlcsnap-2013-05-07-19h40m45s118One of the main things when it comes to cataract formation is that if we can stay out of the sun as much as possible, [or wear] sunglasses. I know that around here you’re going to be in the sun, but at least when we have sunglasses when we go outside we’re defiantly slow down the formation of cataracts.† Also better blood sugar control and management will greatly reduce someone’s chance of having diabetic problems in the eyes.† Same thing with your high blood pressure, if you take control of your blood pressure, take your medication, see your doctor when your supposed to, greatly reduces the chance of it affecting the eyes and causing any permanent vision loss.

The clinic runs from 8:30am-4:30pm and will conclude on Thursday (MAY 9) of this week.