Andean Medical Mission
Our Vision is Their Vision
Registered Charity Number: 1145662
Bognor Regis, West Sussex
The Andean Medical Mission is a UK Charity working to eliminate blindness in Bolivia, South America. Started in 2011 the Mission has been working every year in Itenez in the Bolivian Amazon where the medical teams have screened over 1,800 patients, providing sight saving surgery to more than 400 people and prescription glasses to school children free of charge.
The Andean Medical Mission is the national award winner of the UK Association of Optometrists Charity initiative of 2014.
Why Bolivia ? According to the World Health Organisation, Bolivia is the poorest nation in South America and citizens who live in rural areas are disproportionately affected by poverty. Forty-three percent of the population live below the international poverty line and twenty three percent live below the international extreme poverty line.
Living anywhere as a blind person is difficult. However it is disproportionally harsh in the Amazon. With the constant dangers of insect and animal bites, managing swamps and rivers and the jungle environment make living here as a blind or partially sighted person, very hard indeed. Yet according to the World health Organisation as much as 50 – 80% of blindness in over 50s is preventable with safe, established surgical and medical procedures which the Andean Medical Mission can carry out.
Building Eye Care Services for the Amazon The Andean Medical Mission eye care model is about building sustainable eye care services. This involves returning to each village year after year. Firstly this makes us accountable as we have to account for the work we did in the previous year at each new visit. Secondly it allows us to plan surgery for the right time in the future. Not all surgery is urgent and we clear the bilaterally blind cases first and treat those at risk of immediate blindness. For some cases, that can be deferred until the following year, knowing that we will return means that we can choose the safest option for the patient by timing the surgery correctly.
How we spend the money you raise. Each year we visit 10 - 15 villages For each village of approximately 1500 inhabitants that the Andean Medical Mission visits, we can provide the following:
150 patients screened for eye disease and treated medically as required - £ 640
30 sight saving operations with aftercare and training of local doctors -£ 1,675
45 pairs of glasses measured and fitted - £ 175
1 complex child surgery in Santa Cruz - £620
Currently the Andean Medical Mission is the only provider of eye care services for the people of Itenez. Please help us to continue to provide our services each year and be a part of "Our vision - their Vision"
Name: Mr David Goldsmith
Andean Medical Mission
42 Sherwood Road
Phone: 01243 862561
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