BCVI prides itself on its Comprehensive Eye Care Programme aimed at preventing blindness & restoring vision where possible. Our doctors & staff members work with patients through all the stages of eye diseases and we provide high-quality personal care to all our clients.
The Primary Eye Care Programme and the National Eye Clinic work together in preventing & treating blinding eye diseases. For vision problems that can be solved with glasses, we also have an Eye Glass Lab where all the prescription lenses are matched with & fitted into the clients’ chosen frames.
Not only do we care for clients who visit the clinics, but the dedicated staff members also travel to the villages & towns to ensure maximum coverage throughout the country, as demonstrated on a smaller scale in the Adjacency Zone Project. International volunteers or visiting optometrists conduct outreach clinics, accompanied by a BCVI Regional Field Officer. Together they examine patients’ eyes, issue prescriptions & make referrals.
Projects – “Outreach in the Adjacency Zone”
BCVI submitted a project proposal to the Canada Fund in Belize which was approved and commenced in January 2009. “Outreach Eye Programme in the Toledo and Cayo Villages of the Belize/Guatemala Adjacency Zone” The project commenced in January 2009 and will enable educational presentations and clinics to be conducted in 12 villages and two towns along the western and southern borders of Belize.
In Belize, eye care is not viewed as a priority, and those who do realize they have an eye problem do not know where to go for help. People either cannot afford the eye care being provided by private practices or are unable to travel the distance out of their villages to attend the local clinics. Many patients present when their vision has been lost and treatment is ineffective.
The overall purpose of this project is to conduct outreach eye clinics to address and alleviate this problem in 6 villages in Toledo and 6 villages in the Cayo located along the Belize/Guatemala Adjacency Zone. We will also serve clients in some of the bigger areas located outside the Zone.
A BCVI optometrist, ophthalmic assistant (OA) and regional field officer (RFO) will travel to the various villages to carry out the project. They will conduct door-to-door screenings as well as scheduled eye clinics to ensure wide coverage. While the optometrist and OA screen, the RFO will perform home visits in the hope of identifying any potential clients for the Rehabilitation Program. The RFO will also identify any young children or babies who are visually impaired. Parents of children who are visually impaired have the tendency to keep them out of school which means they have less chance of being identified. For the younger babies born with eye diseases such as Retinopathy of Prematurity, who have not yet started school and have not been screened and cared for, once they have started going to school, it is too late for treatment.