The Stanford Eye Clinic is hosting its first clinic for the year at the San Pedro Lions Den. Since Sunday, January 21st, eye examinations are being facilitated by ophthalmologists, Dr. Ecunabaughn Koo and Dr. Katerine Warner from Stanford University in California, USA.
According to Dr. Koo, the examinations are not only to determine if patients need glasses, but are also a way to detect eye conditions and diseases. “We check for glaucoma, retinopathy, and cataracts. These conditions are sometimes in their early stage, so if they are detected in time, they can be treated before causing any major damage to a persons’ sight,” she said. “It is very important for people to regularly check their eyes, as you can prevent or detect an eye disease early. Persons who suffer from diabetes and hypertension are more likely to suffer from these diseases, so it’s important for regular check-ups.”
According to Consi Nuñez of Belizekids.org Program, under which the clinic falls, the Stanford team has had a positive impact on the community of San Pedro Town. “Many islanders have benefited from the services provided by the doctors. Every time the doctors are on the island, we have about 30 different people per day coming for eye examinations.” Nuñez also told The San Pedro Sun that their next project is to visit all schools on the island and provide eye examinations for the students in order to prevent or detect any early stage eye diseases and be treated.
When it comes to cases that need surgery or further treatments that are not available on the island, the doctors then recommend patients to the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) in Belize City, where such services are available.
The Stanford doctors will be providing their services until Thursday, January 25th. All islanders are invited to take advantage of the free clinic and get their eyes tested. The clinic opens from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.