A donation of ophthalmic equipment by the US-arm of equipment manufacturer Keeler has supported the vision screening of nearly 1000 patients in Belize.
Keeler provided a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope (BIO) and portable slit lamp that was used by a team from the New England College of Optometry (NECO) during a charitable mission to Stann Creek District in south-eastern Belize to offer free sight tests to those in need.
Led by Lee Peplinski and Nathaniel Pelsor, the team, which included 13 NECO students and three support staff, spent five days sight testing, dispensing medication, providing eyewear and referring patients for follow-up care.
The team performed comprehensive eye exams on 745 people, and offered vision screening to a further 200 students.
Talking about the experience, Jessica Hahm, who took part in the trip, said: “Many of the patients we see have undiagnosed or poorly controlled systemic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and other vascular diseases.”
She added: “Without the Keeler Vantage Plus BIO, it would have been impossible for us to conduct dilated fundus examinations. The optics allowed us to easily obtain clear views of the periphery and posterior pole of the retina, cutting down on our exam time and allowing us to diagnose diseases and conditions with greater accuracy.”
Sales and marketing manager at Keeler, Laura Haverley, added: “We’re happy to support the students and doctors doing this important charitable work. Eye care and preventing vision loss are critical to overall health and quality of life.”