Over five hundred school children are being given free eye care at the Belize City Lions Club with the help of a volunteer optometrist and service care humanity team from Memphis Tennessee. Dan Bowersox is a Staff Eye Doctor Volunteer.

Dan Bowersox – Volunteer
“It’s been really terrific; the Lions have done a fantastic job in helping us out and getting prepared for all of this. We have done a lot of school screenings for many children and other people in the community that have had their eyes evaluated to see if they have any diseases in the eye or if they need some glasses. We brought a bunch of glasses down with us and if we have prescriptions that are near what they need we are more than happy to give glasses to them. Our last day is Thursday and we are seeing primarily school children. If someone else has a need they need to come down and talk with the Lion’s Club and we will see how they can get those people in. Yesterday we were fortunate enough to see 250 school children. Basically they are far sighted and that happens fairly often, that causes headaches when they read and things like that. A lot of times too what happens they might have little eye deviations and thing like that which would cause them difficulties when they are reading. For the most part most kids are just fine. There are some problems that are naturally occurring like high stigmatism in certain populations and we are seeing a little of that too.”

Sarah Thompson is a student volunteer and it is her first time in Belize; she told us of her experience so far in providing essential eye care.

Sarah Thompson – Volunteer
“These are glasses that we’ve collected from different Lion’s Clubs in the United States and it is great to be able to re-use them a lot of times and give them to somebody who really needs them. We had some kids who have not been able to see clearly and they have gotten a pair of glasses and left being able to see the world in a new way, so it is really great. We do regular optometry screenings and we screen to see if they need any glasses or anything that will help them see better and we also check the health of the eyes. Some of my friends are using different instruments to look inside the eye to make sure that everything looks healthy if they have cataracts, if they problems with their retina, or if they have some other problems we refer them out to doctors here so they can any surgery they need or any other specialty care that they need so we help in that way as well.”

On Thursday at 1pm, the clinic will be open to the public. In related news, eye clinics are also underway in Belmopan. The clinics began on Monday and will end on Friday. It is open to the public and is free of cost to children; adults are asked to pay a nominal fee. This is an initiative of the Belmopan Lion’s Club.