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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33

Methods and findings on an ophthalmic mission trip to colombia

1 UCD School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
2 Division of Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. John Harvey
Division of Ophthalmology, McMaster University, 2757 King St E, Hamilton, ON L8G 5E4
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/PAJO.PAJO_35_20

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Background: Medical ministry international (MMI) is a Canadian charitable organization that coordinates healthcare missions to underserved people in developing countries. Objective: We report on the baseline clinical findings of a mission trip to Ciénaga de Oro, Colombia, present the methods used in the mission and the efforts to establish a local eye care service with long-term sustainability. Methods: Data were collected on patients seen during a 2-week mission trip from January 13 to 24, 2020. Data included eye health and the services given. Results: Altogether 5529 patients were seen by the team. Nearly 247 surgeries were performed by ophthalmologists. The most common diagnosis performed was a refractive error, for which 4066 patients (74%) received eyeglasses. Another 835 (15%) had a consultation by an ophthalmologist, of which 260 (5%) received surgery, mostly manual small incision cataract surgery and intraocular lens insertion. Conclusions and Importance: MMI is helping to reduce the prevalence of preventable blindness in the Ciénaga de Oro population; however, further training to increase the capacity of local ophthalmic services is required to improve long-term eye care to the community.

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