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Rotary helps fund eye mission

By September 2, 2022No Comments
Paul Dusseault from the Edmonton Rotary Club Riverview provided the Rotary Club of Lloydminster Monday lunch meeting with an update via Zoom on an upcoming Mission Clarity project offering cataract eye surgery to patients in Ecuador. The Lloyd club donated $5,000 to the project. Geoff Lee Meridian Source

 

The Rotary Club of Lloydminster has gained some new insights into an upcoming eye surgery mission to Ecuador they financially support.

The project, dubbed Mission Clarity, is led by the Rotary Club of Edmonton Riverview backed by a $5,000 donation from Lloydminster Rotary.

Riverview spokesperson, Paul Dusseault, brought the Lloydminster club up to speed with his zoom presentation during their Monday lunch meeting.

“We got our hotels arranged; we’ve got transportation arranged, everything’s in order—we’re going,” said Dusseault.

A team of 14 individuals will head to Cuenca, Ecuador in early September to finally carry out a much-delayed ophthalmology program due to COVID.

The goal of the project, initiated in March 2020, is to perform 100 cataract eye surgeries.  

That number could double knowing local surgeons in Ecuador have completed 75 surgeries waiting for the Canadians to get the all-clear to fly in with less risk over COVID concerns.

Dusseault says the pandemic has turned out to be a blessing, however, as the extra time has given the team a greater understanding of the equipment, supplies and medications needed.

The patient selection process has also since been managed by Ecuador’s ministry of public health, to the relief of Rotary.

“We initially thought this was something that would be done headed by Rotary and private practice doctors,” said Dusseault.

“By having the ministry of public health involved, we’re really kind of assured the patients that are selected use the public health care system, not people that go through private health care that have money.”

Riverview Rotary has also gained more support from their Tomebamba Rotary Club partner in Cuenca in the interim. That has lowered project costs and opened the door to performing more eye surgeries.

The Canadian team plans to donate 14 hockey bags of surgical supplies to Ecuador before heading back to Edmonton.

Dusseault says the next steps are to get more equipment for public hospitals in Ecuador and take part in a potential mission to the jungle in a mobile operating unit.

He also told Lloyd Rotarians his home club has a 20-year history of involvement in Ecuador.

Past projects in that South American country include school upgrades, heart surgeries, a computer lab for disabled youth, a playground, water purification projects and refugee assistance.

Riverview also supported a team of 60 individuals who took part in a medical and dental mission to Cuenca in early 2020 just before COVID shut down further missions until now.