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The 'eyes' have it

Hundreds benefit from annual Canadian Vision Care/ Port Antonio Lions Club clinic

BY EVERARD OWEN
Observer correspondent

Monday, September 30, 2019

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PRIESTMAN'S RIVER, Portland — Hundreds of Portlanders in Buff Bay and Priestman's River benefited last week from the annual eye care clinic staged by Canadian Vision Care and Port Antonio Lions Club.

The clinic, which has been held for the past 10 years, resulted in residents getting their eyes checked and those who needed, were presented with eyeglasses.

“What they are doing is very good, the instructions given are very clear and the level of examination, I think, is very good. I heard about this at church and I came as I want my glasses to be changed as I check my eyes,” Patrice Minott told Jamaica Observer North & East at Priestman's River Community Centre.

Another resident, Audrey Mason, was delighted. “I feel very elated as this is a service that is badly needed, and we are happy they are using this centre,” she said.

“This centre is here for the community to provide a service, and persons have been here from 5:30 this morning and they have been very cooperative. The staff (Lions and Canadian Vision Care) and persons have been asking when are they coming back. We had to turn back some persons as they can only see a certain amount,” Mason said.

Canadian Vision Care team leader Dr Jerry Rawal, who has been providing his services to the clinic for the last 20 years, said: “We are here to provide eye care to the needy people in rural Jamaica. This is about 40 times I've been coming. It has been very good.”

Dr Rawal said the team had seen many people with eye conditions including glaucoma and cataract, as well as individuals with diabetes. Most of them, he said, needed eyeglasses.

“There are many conditions that require surgery, so we refer them to our own surgical facility in Albion, Montego Bay or if they cannot go there we send them to the Chest Clinic in Kingston,” he pointed out.

“The glaucoma cases here are very high 10 times the amount as in Canada,” he said, adding that almost 15 per cent of the individuals seen have glaucoma, while 50 per cent of the adults checked are afflicted with cataract.

“We have been partnering with Lions for over 40 years, and without them we could not have done this. They are absolutely essential,” said Dr Rawal.

Immediate past president of the Lions Club of Port Antonio Kim Chin was delighted with the clinic. “This partnership with the Canadian Vision Care team has been going well over the years and we have been concentrating on the elderly this time. We were in Buff Bay where we had over 300 persons and we have over 100 here today,” Chin said.


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