A team of eye specialists from Great Falls Montana are in Belize conducting free eye clinics at the BCVI. Doctor David Boes - an Ophthalmologist who has been working alongside the Belize Council For The Visually Impaired for the past 4 years leads the team. They are performing free cataract surgeries at the BCVI - and we found out what they have been encountering.

Dr. David Boes - Ophthalmologist
"Unfortunately most patients that we have seen here have very dense cataracts which is a cloudiness of the lens of the eye. I think some of the ultraviolet and the sun really hardens some of these cataracts - makes it very dense causing really significant blurred vision or vision loss in some patients. It's kind of like many of them are in a cave - it's very dark and when we take the cataract out it lets a lot more light in and we replace the natural lens with an artificial lens to help them to see better."

"Three things in mind why I chose Belize are, there are many dense cataracts here because of the ultraviolet light and there is a good facility like BCVI in order to take the cataract out - they have a good microscope and they have a good surgical team here. I've done about 35,000 cataracts surgeries in the United States and so I wanted to use my experience here with patients with very dense cataracts to see better and finally at the end of the day I wanted a view of the ocean. (smiling)"

Carla Musa - Communications Officer
"Basically everybody hears about BCVI and they hear and Rowan Garel and his efforts to fundraise and that's for our rehab program. BCVI is also very much into the prevention of blindness, so we want to avoid anyone becoming blind, so we have our primary eye care with glasses and everything and then we have our secondary eye care which is for people who have cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and this group who is with us right now Dr. Boes from the US. They are conducting cataract surgeries for the entire week. This is pretty much the end of their time here but they are seeing about 15 people a day and basically restoring sight to everybody who they have seen."

"Everyone who they have seen has not have vision in eye they have been operated on for a few years and are seeing family for the first time or doing things that they wanted to do before. One gentleman said he is going to able to finish writing his book when he is done with this surgery and so it very rewarding stuff and its stuff that Belize needs and its stuff that they can get right here at home, thanks to these people who come in and do the work."

Monica Bodden
"I understand that you have patients traveling from all over the country to come here?"

Carla Musa - Communications Officer
"Yes, we actually have a bus full of people from PG that we are taking care of in the past two days - that was probably about 30 people. They all had 20/30 vision or better after their surgery. They were very happy and pleased and like the doctor said it's a very rewarding feeling to know that you are providing this service to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to get it. BCVI pays for them to come in to the city - we get the bus and one of our people brings them up and we just try to make it as easy for them as possible to leave their villages and their homes and come into the city to get the service."

They leave this weekend.

Channel 7