(September 24, 2012) – Several communities in the western region of Jamaica are to benefit from free eye care services from October 8 – 12, as the Sandals Foundation/Great Shape! Inc. iCare project makes its way to Jamaica for a fourth year.
iCare clinics will run from at the Grange Hill Community Centre in Westmoreland, and will be open to the public from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm, Monday to Thursday and 9:00 to 1:00 pm on Friday.
Patients will have access to free eye chart tests, glasses, auto refraction services, retinoscopy, eye surgery referrals, eye pathology tests and blood pressure/blood sugar screening.
The iCare group – which comprises of doctors, eye care professionals and support staff from the United States and Canada – has already impacted more than 7000 Jamaicans over the last three years and has distributed approximately 11,000 pairs of glasses.
The team also plans on donating an additional 16,000 pairs to persons this year.
According to the iCare programme director, Dr. Steven Stern, 35-40 volunteers will be working with close to 2000 patients during this five-day clinic.
“There is a great need in Jamaica for eye care, glasses and hypertension/diabetes screening. In western Jamaica, there is no public health optometry and this is our way of bridging that gap,” he said. “We are so grateful to the support and sponsorship of the Sandals Foundation and all our volunteers who make all of this work possible!”
All the glasses and supplies are donated through Great Shape! Inc., VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity), and LERC (Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center).
The Sandals Foundation provides logistics support, accommodation, meals and transportation daily to the various clinic sites. Jamaica’s Ministry of Health provides general support.
The team will be based at the Eltham Community Centre in Ocho Rios during October 15 – 19, where residents will have access to the same services provided in Westmoreland.