Vosh 2014 Samaipata, Bolivia Mon, Feb 10, 2014
This post is delayed due to lack of internet access.
Our hosts in Samaipata is CRE, the regional electric cooperative. For whatever reason (we don’t ask questions) we are at their offices rather than at the hospital. Registration and acuities are outside under a tarp. We only have two rooms for the optometrists so we are two to a room. One room is downstairs so we are seeing the older patients and people who cannot climb stairs. The other OD room is upstairs so they are seeing the younger patients. Black garbage bags over the windows complete the decor.
Setting up was interesting because all of the CRE employees were understandably curious about what was going on in their rooms. Setting with them milling about put us starting a little later than expected; about 8:45.
The ophthalmologist’s equipment was being held up in customs for some reason so he wasn’t able to start cataract surgeries until 5:00. He still was able to finish 5 patients.
We saw 300 patients. We dispensed about 200 pairs of donated glasses. James and the opticians custom made about 50 pairs of glasses in addition.
Out of all the glasses prescriptions I wrote, only 3 or 4 were for nearsightedness. Almost everyone is farsighted with astigmatism.
I saw diabetic retinopathy in one previously undiagnosed patient and hypertensive retinopathy in two previously undiagnosed patients. It was fantastic having the general physician with us to refer these patients too.
Another patient had lost all usable vision due to an injury induced macula off retinal detachment. Thanks to low vision devices donated by Dr. Rob Chun, I was able to provide him a device that would at least let him work on a computer and watch the tv.
Dinner at a nice restaurant with wine and desert for those who wanted including tip was $13 a piece. Then Renee, optician Markus, Randall and I hung out for awhile chatting and playing games.