After the last screening, our volunteer team went to the School of Optometry at the University of Kumasi. They were given a tour of the school and the clinic, and were introduced to the students in their 5th year of study. There is no Orthoptics education in Ghana, so the students were very interested in the lessons our Orthoptist volunteers provided them. Vera’s experience; of sharing insights and knowledge about screening young children and orthoptics with Sister Aba, the outreach team, and the 5th year students, has triggered in her a desire to want to regularly return to Ghana to share her orthoptic knowledge once she has completed her training. In conclusion Vera says: “I learnt a lot from this mission. I was really touched by Sister Aba’s care and the gratitude and appreciation of the people. Despite the good health care we have in the Netherlands, the healthcare system can learn a lot from this. I hope to take part in more future eye health care missions to help the people and to really make a difference for them. Now that I have seen and experienced Africa, I have no doubt that I will be returning there again!” ... See MoreSee Less
This was Johan’s first ever participation in an a eye health mission and, other than a short vacation in Tunisia, this was his first time really being able to experience Africa.
He describes the experience as confronting because it had him working outside of his comfort zone: performing eye examinations in daylight in a small space with a corrugated iron roof on which the sun has been pounding all day as well as being exposed to mostly advanced eye disorders in adults as well as the presence of glaucomatous papilla in young children. This was a very educational, challenging and rewarding experience.
What has also contributed to this enriching experience for him as an optometrist, was the close collaboration with the three orthoptists. This has not only allowed the screenings to be performed very thoroughly and efficiently, but also promoted the mutual exchange of knowledge which could be immediately put into practice. Johan adds: “In my opinion the collaboration between orthoptists and optometrists will be very valuable in allowing us to develop our skills within the health care in the near future!”
In closing Johan says: “Even though we were performing the field work with limited resources, we took great satisfaction in still being able to help others.” ... See MoreSee Less