It is always a great time when Global Vision can partner with another NGO doing great work. Recently, we had the opportunity to partner again with Lifetime Wells International out of Denton, MD. If you are not familiar with the eastern shore of Maryland, Denton is a quaint town just about 20 minutes away from our headquarters in Easton, MD.
Ken Wood, the President of Lifetime Wells Drilling, and founder of Lifetime Wells International, met Kevin White at a presentation at The Gunston School in 2017. It took them no time to see the promise of working together on the ground in low resource and rural areas in Africa. LWI, already had a ‘footprint’ in many regions of Africa, and one of Global Vision’s models – as an add-on to other NGOs working in regions around the world – was a perfect fit. Read more about LWI here: http://lifetimewellsinternational.org
During this most recent trip our Program Coordinator, Catherine Baker, joined LWI volunteers and they spent most of their time predominantly in Songea, the capital of the Ruvuma Region in southwestern Tanzania. This densely populated region is home to over 1.4 million people.
Catherine was able to train two local evaluators, Albert and Bonifas, and the group traveled around to several communities and school districts including: Chipole Community, Lupunga Secondary School, Ruhuwiko Community, Magagula Secondary School, Hoja Secondary School, Mpandingindo Community, Kijiji Community, and Mpitimbi Community.
Approximately 300 individuals were screened using the USee device and countless others made visits to our field clinic for reading glasses – which are part of the GV2020 Vision Kit.
By the end of the first week, 73 glasses were assembled from the refractive readings of the USee and were distributed. Additionally, the USee screening process makes it possible, in most cases, to identify when refractive error is not the issue with a patient’s eyesight. With this knowledge a patient is empowered to seek help from a clinician (if and when possible). In this specific outreach, 21 patients were referred to the government hospital in Songea town for further evaluation and monitored treatment.
As we grow, we look forward to working with many other NGOs ‘on the ground’ in remote areas. The simplicity of Global Vision’s USee Vision Kit makes it a possible add-on for NGOs, and the approach to train locals to implement the process allows for a sustainable model. It makes it possible to simply resupply already trained eyeglass distributors in the far corners of the globe.