Mission Trip to Jamaica
Earlier this year, we were able to support a mission trip to St. Ann, Jamaica.
Dr. Alicia Pecco, an Optometrist at our America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses store in Wyncote, Pennsylvania partnered with Mind Body and Soul Health Ministry, Inc. and traveled to Jamaica to help those in need of eye care.
We supported this mission trip by donating a glasses pack with 300 readers and 100 sunglasses, and loaned an auto-refractor. We are so proud that one of our doctors traveled to Jamaica to help those in need.
About the Mission Trip to St. Ann, Jamaica
Dr. Pecco, along with 48 volunteers, visited the Alexandria Hospital in St. Ann, Jamaica.
In just five days, 1700 people were seen by the medical team, and 120 of those people were seen by an Optometrist.
Most patients benefited from the donated reading glasses as they were presbyopic – a condition associated with aging that results in the progressively worsening ability to focus clearly on close objects.
Sunglasses were also distributed for patients with sun damage, a condition common on tropical islands such as Jamaica. Referrals were made for those patients needing glaucoma and cataract evaluation and a few patients were prescribed drops for dry eyes and allergies.
Aside from providing eye care, the medical team also completed:
- 428 checkups
- 546 exams for rashes, asthma, hypertension, diabetes
- 46 pap smears
- 210 dental extractions/cleanings
- 74 prosthesis follow-ups
- 24 prosthesis measurements
- 180 orphanage visits
Originally from Jamaica, Dr. Pecco tells us that she became an Optometrist because of several reasons but mostly because as a young girl she wore glasses and knew that as an OD she could give back to her community in Jamaica by providing eye care to those in need.
Dr. Pecco adds, “I am so happy that National Vision was able to donate to this cause. I already have plans to go back on another trip with another doctor from the store.”
Jamaica is located in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba and west of Hispaniola (the island containing Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Jamaica is the fourth-largest island country in the Caribbean, by area. It is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean with a population of approximately 2.8 million.
Although Jamaica’s primary health care system was originally considered a model for the Caribbean region in the 1990s, it has lagged far behind in achieving its goals. Low economic growth and a high debt burden have left limited fiscal space for investments in improved health care.
Jamaica is also facing a double burden of disease with non-communicable diseases on the rise while communicable diseases remain a concern. Furthermore, according to the Eye Health Institute, it is estimated that half of the population of Jamaica will not receive vision care in their lifetime. The result is many cases of blindness that are caused by cataracts and other treatable conditions.
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