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Linstead residents get free eye care

Published:Thursday | January 14, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer

HUNDREDS OF persons turned out at the Lions Club Civic Centre in Linstead, St Catherine, on Tuesday to access free eye care.

The service was offered through a partnership between the Lions Club of North St Catherine and the Canadian Vision Care (CVC) group.

In its quest to create quality health care, the club has been working with the team of Canadian doctors for more than 25 years to offer assistance to the most vulnerable in Linstead and its environs.

Discussing the initiative, chairman of the welfare committee at the club, Evan Collins, said the main focus was to offer quality service to the community.

"Getting medical attention for your eye could be very expensive and, given the financial difficulties that some persons may face, we are elated that we could bring this assistance to them," Collins said.

"The club could not have done it alone, so we decided to get on-board with the Canadian team," he added.

Dr Richard Watts, optometrist of CVC, said the team has been providing free examinations, glaucoma medications and eyeglasses for the less fortunate in the country each year. The group has been visiting the island since 1981.

Less fortunate

"We love the country, and we were moved by the inability of the country to provide eye care service for the less fortunate who couldn't afford the basic examination," he noted.

"So far, the visits are good, as we realised that we have great impact on many persons' lives," he added.

Althea Wellington, who benefited from the service, said the help came just in time when she was suffering with her eyes.

"Considering the cost of the glasses, I couldn't afford it and it would take a long time to accumulate the funds, while my eyes continued to affect me," she said.