The MN and SD VOSH chapters combined to go to Port Antonio, Jamaica from Feb. 24th to March 3rd, 2019. The mission was led by Dr. Larry Morrison, an optometrist from Detroit Lakes, MN. With the help of social media and the VOSH International website, the group was larger than usual with 29 people going. There were 5 optometrists and 4 optometric students from the Southern California College of Optometry. There were 5 optometric techs and opticians. Nine team members had been on previous VOSH missions and 20 new people were on their first mission.
We were hosted by the Port Antonio Rotary club and supported by the Detroit Lakes noon and breakfast Rotary clubs. Through fund raisers, we were able to purchase an eyecare tonometer which worked well since no eye drops were needed to get a reading. We also purchased reading glasses and plano sun glasses.
The mission was very rewarding with around 900 Jamaicans being examined and most fitted with glasses and sunwear. We worked for three days. We did tonometry on everyone over the age of 35 and internal eye exams on everyone. We diagnosed and helped treat several cases of glaucoma and other diseases. Many referrals were made for cataract surgery. We were able to take several prescription eye drops donated by Allergan with a retail value of $164,000.
The remainder of the time was great R and R doing bamboo rafting, snorkeling, a trip to Reach Falls and enjoying the beach at Frenchmans Cove resort where we stayed. The food was great and the Jamaican people were wonderful.