Press Release Summary: Clare Holland will be one of three UK optometrists in this year's 'Mission for Vision' trip from 11-25 April. The programme sends out one team annually to communities in need of eye care. This year they are travelling to the town of Nebaj in Northern Guatemala; the first trip of its kind to Central America.
Press Release Body: Nebaj is situated 7,000 feet up in the Cuchamatan Mountains. Here Clare will join the other team members; two other British optometrists and one Dispensing optician along with four support helpers. She will be travelling to Guatemala City via Houston before embarking on the eight-hour drive to Nebaj.
Clare will work closely with the rest of the team for two weeks in an 'eye camp,' examining eyes, treating minor eye diseases and dispensing spectacles, collected by the charity from airports in the UK. Without this essential care, local people must walk for several days to reach a clinic in the city, as there is no other eye care available in the region.
The team is expecting to treat approximately 450 people every day. It is thought that they will witness many people's vision affected by smoke, as all cooking in Guatemalan homes is undertaken in the main living area. They also expect to see a high rate of cataracts due to the mountains' high altitude, which causes greater exposure to UV radiation. During the trip, the team will be examining many children's eyes. Clare hopes she will be particularly useful here as her practice (Keith Holland & Associates) specialises in eye care for children.
Clare comments, "I am very excited about the trip, never having travelled to this part of the world before or worked in local clinics like this"