The EYE Train in Action
UPDATE: December 3rd, 2014
Attached is an article from Daily Inquirer of a Bill from Congresswoman Kim Coquanco for the early detection of Eye Impairment for Kindergarten student .We already started this program before this Bill passes in Congress . We'll start with the sorrounding schools where our Eye Train is located .. Nica
It appears the Eyetrain is already doing an eye see children's program and now the local government is looking at mandatory preschool screening. We can thank the AAO in assisting us to give eyecare to the poorest children of Manila. Over 8,400 patients have been seen and over 3000 in outreach programmes in the past year.Local orphanages and schools are receiving free eyecare from the EYETRAIN. This is definitely something all Alberta optometrists can be proud! Allan
UPDATE: November 17th, 2014
Last Sunday, the Manila Eyetrain saw 300 patients in the clinic that was staffed by two local optometrists and 3 students. Together, they went over the exam sequence, referral protocols and cleaned the clinic. Dr. Allan Jones was able to get two slit lamps, one table and a spare slit lamp to work, which wil surely come in handy in the future! The clinic also has lens and diagnostic kits, one lens meter, an autorefractor and two working chairs. They could use another lens meter, some better screwdrivers, pliers and nose pads. Otherwise, all is going well!
On a normal day, the clinic will see between 35-50 patients a day. They use a mix of new and old framces and the average eye exam/lenses cost 3$. But many receive free services. The clinic is currently operating on a self-sustaining model of those who can pay are welcome to, but those who cannot will not be turned away.
They have also visited an orphanage and schools (with 500 students!) where they do outreach clinics for the locals. They are always a pleasure to be at and to provide free eyecare to the children there.
Friday was the grand opening of the second railcar. There were two priests to bless the Eyetrain, joined by singing and dancing children from the Smokey Mountain School and the local special needs school. All of the children preent wearing glasses had received them from the Eyetrain. THe secondr railcar will be used for special testing, fundus photography and perimetry. There is also room to store extra frames, to have a meeting area, a kitchen and a meeting point for doctors and nurses. There is also a small area available for a security agent to keep watch over things.
A great big thank you to CVC and AAO for sponsoring the second rail car, as well as all of the inidivudals who helped make it happen! It will help make a difference in Manila and give people a better chance in life.
UPDATE: November 15th, 2014
Dr. Allan Jones cannot wait to tell us about the grand opening and blessing of the new Eyetrain car: "I can honestly tell you I had tears. The special needs children sang and danced! Then the young people from Smokey Mountain (landfill) came and sang, truly unbelievable! They were wearing lions-donated frames and lenses from us!!! To see these two groups of children that CVC has touched via Specs moved me more than anything as of yet. This is what we can do with CVC, help those who need it the most. I realize how fortunate we are and especially that we can assist all over the world as we do is truly remarkable. As we go to Costa Rica, Jamaica, Malawi or Manila it really is amazing to think what a few dedicated volunteers can accomplish. --Allan"
UPDATE: November 13th, 2014
The Manila Eyetrain is currently in the Philippines and doing great! They have three interns and two local optometrists, and see between 35-75 patients per day. Last week we saw a clinic sponsored by the local Lion's club. On Monday, a special needs school was brought in by a group of nuns, and on Tuesday they saw a -30 diop myope and +15 aphake! It was an incredible learning opportunity for the optometry students to see.
Dr. Allan Jones, the leader of this project met with the Dean of optometry at the Manila College of Optometry. There, he learned that the Eyetrain was voted as the best clinical experience by the students! The College has pledged to provide students to the Eyetrain so that they may learn valuable and practical hands-on experience. The Eyetrain will also be available for North American students to work in so that they may also gain practical experience. It will be an incredible working opportunity for all students, as well as a wonderful way to meet and experience new things!
The Eyetrain is also looking for CVC volunteers who would be willing to donate their time (such as a week) to the Eyetrain throughout various times in the year. The clinic has air conditioning and is a great vacation destination!
The second CVC rail car will be opening in the next coming week. It will be used as a storage center, lunch room and multipurpose area. It will be a welcome addition to their facility!
Wow, what a fantastic opportunity, an old train was renovated and transformed into an Eye Train. Now locals have access to a complete exam room. Thanks to the generous and numerous donations, we were able to equip the train will all the necessary equipment to perform a complete eye exam. Glasses and frames have been collected all over Canada and a large shipment has been sent to the train for distribution. Even more is that we have the means to supply the train for many years to come with all those donated frames at various eye doctor's office here in Canada.
A BIG thank you to Nica Roma who supervised the project and made it happen. She was there from the beginning and watch the entire process every day to make sure it was done to her standards.
Thanks to Dr. Allan Jones and Dr. Pasqualino Marcantonio who contributed immensely in the project with personal and financial contribution, the train has been functional for a year now and is almost self sustaining. People from the Phillipines are ask to make a donation for the service and glasses received if possible, that helps sustain the basic needs for the train such as electricity and water.