Liberia, 2013
Here is a testimony from the Liberia Optical team leader:
From:     Ann Fure []
Sent:     Monday, February 18, 2013 1:31 PM
Subject:     2013 Duluth Mission to Liberia Report w/ photos

2013 Liberia Optical Mission
This was our 2nd visit to Liberia with an optical team.  Only 2 of the same team members from the lst mission came on this 2nd mission.

We had 2 clinics in 2 different locations. One was close to the busy, noisy, capital city of Monrovia, the other was on the outskirts of Monrovia. It had a village feel to it, it was a quiet, peacefull place in comparison.
We had 7.5 days of clinics, which also included a dental clinic.  Optical gave out 400 prescriptions,  1500 readers, & 1200 sunglasses.  3000 total glasses  were given out.
It was amazing and moving to see someone's face light up in an instant because they can see clearly.  There were about 5 patients who's eyes were so bad the autorefractor couldn't read them.   I didn't have much hope for them, as some of them could hardly see, some had to feel their way around to find the chair. Was it worth the extra time on them?  We used the flip paddles
to manually find a prescription. A glasses match was found for 2 or 3 of these patients, and did
their faces ever light up.   It definitely WAS worth taking the extra time!
There was a very shy 10 year old boy, who wouldn't crack a smile or say anything.  I gently tried to  get him to respond, with no success.  When he was given a pair of glasses and he could now see, he couldn't stop himself from smiling ear to ear.  His mother was smiling ear to ear as well.
The clinics went so well, the only bad thing was having to leave people who wanted to be
seen, because the time had run out. This calls for a return visit in the future, with ideas how to improve.  (More inventory, more sunglasses, work at getting more of the lesser reader strengths, and less of the higher strengths, perhaps have 2 laptops to the one autorefractor - if internet is not a requirement, if we have enough personnel & $, rent the field glasses which can be tailor made for a patient who a match cannot be found, no on the job training - do all training beforehand,  bring child size sunglasses)
A big thank you to Holland for talking us thru some computer bumps after our lst clinic day!  It went smoothly afterwards!
Duluth Gospel Tabernacle
Duluth, MN
Boy in red shirt is the boy who wouldn't smile before his glasses.
Man in gray shirt, could hardly see to find a chair, now see his face of joy!
Optical dept all set up and ready to roll.
E Reader distance test.
Autorefractor & computer