During Tzu Chi Foundation’s 234th medical mission in Caloocan High School, 370 eye patients benefitted from the eye clinic that provided check-ups for poor vision, gave reading glasses and did initial screenings for patients with serious cases like cataracts.
Ophthalmology doctors were on hand to serve the residents of Caloocan City during the 234th Medical Mission of Tzu Chi Foundation at the Caloocan High School on September 9, 2018.
Despite of the rain at the start of the day, 370 residents with various eye ailments trooped to the ophthalmology department to have their eye checked for free reading glasses and others with cataracts were able to have their initial screenings for surgeries.
Luisito Birol came to the eye clinic with itchy eyes and blurry vision, which has been his predicament for the past two years, he has difficulty even in reading medicine labels. “My eyes are itchy and my vision is getting cloudy. I had sore eyes last month and even if I’ve already been treated but my eyes are still itchy.” he explains.
He allocates most of his time in taking care of his 28-year-old nephew who has cerebral palsy and microcephaly. According to him, his eyesight does not affect his everyday activities, but he has to use a magnifying glass to check the labels whenever he buys medicine because he was afraid he might buy the wrong medicine.
Although his condition needs further examinations, Luisito is thankful for the medical mission Tzu Chi conducted because for people who are jobless like him, it is a big help for them who are suffering from impaired eyesight. “Free clinics for dental, minor surgery and ophthalmology is a big help because the usual check-up fee in hospitals is Php500, here in Tzu Chi’s medical mission, it’s free and even medicines are provided.” Luisito concluded.
Carlos Coronel, a resident of Malabon who works both as a carpenter and a pedicab driver, had his eye check-up years ago, but he was not able to raise enough money for the surgery. When he saw the Tzu Chi bus parked near a factory where he works. He grabbed the opportunity to have his eye checked again. Carlos was advised to undergo a cataract surgery with the support of Tzu Chi after their initial eye check-up. “I’m thankful to Tzu Chi for giving me a chance to see clearly again because cataract surgeries are expensive,” he said happily.
For Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) Ophthalmologist Susan Lapid-Lim, conducting the medical mission in Caloocan is to reach and provide medical services to people who are not able to afford medical service.
“Our priority is to aid those who cannot afford to consult in a regular clinic to at least give the quality check-up needed for their eyes,” Dr. Lim said.