A note from Seva's Executive Director about COVID-19
Eye care for kids often requires general anesthetic, specialized equipment, and dedicated follow-up care. In low-income countries like Guatemala, many communities lack the resources to provide these amenities. One of Seva's core objectives is to invest in pediatric eye care infrastructure, so that children everywhere can receive the eye care they need.
Visualiza estimates that 114,000 children living in the rural areas of Guatemala live with vision impairment.However, many of them do not have access to proper vision care, both because it is too expensive, and because most eye doctors live in Guatemala City. With the help of Visualiza, Seva aims to solve this problem.
Visualiza sends outreach workers to screen children ages 5-14 at their schools. The clinic also carries out public health education and prevention campaigns at the schools, with specific materials for kids and parents. The outreach teams send lists of children in need of lenses or treatment to the clinic for review. If necessary, a child is referred to Visualiza for a full evaluation, treatment, and follow-up care.
One such child is Emily, a girl who lives in Guatemala City. From the moment she started attending school, Emily had trouble reading her textbooks and keeping up with her peers. The school principal noticed that her vision was impaired, and urged her parents to get her a prescription for glasses. But her mother and father could barely afford to feed their family, much less pay for prescription glasses.
Luckily, Visualiza was there to help. Because of Seva's partnership, the clinic was able to offer Emily a pair of prescription glasses, free of charge to her family. The glasses have transformed her life dramatically. She is excited to attend school, she can keep up with her peers in class, and she is able to play with her friends. Thanks to the generosity of Seva's donors, as well as the hard work of our partners at Visualiza, Emily can lead a normal, happy life, and has hope for a better future.
Above: Photo courtesy of Jon Kaplan.
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