The Gift of Vision
Vision screening will provide gift of clear vision to Molokai children
In January, 2008 while visiting Molokai for the first time, Dr. Doris Forte’, a retired optometrist quickly observed that there were no full-time eye care providers on the entire island. When asked, Molokai residents explained that if an ocular emergency or other vision problem occurred, they either traveled off island to obtain care or they simply waited. Inaccessibility to comprehensive vision care left no other options.
Further investigation revealed that The Gift of Sight Foundation (GTGOS) conducted a 4-day vision screening of 1,027 residents in 2007 and made 474 referrals for vision correction. In a population of approximately 7.000 residents, that parallels a third world response.
Eye See A Need Vision Screening Service was created to provide vision care services to individuals who might otherwise go without because of economic or geographical constraints. Change Happens Foundation of Holuahoa, Hawaii, under the executive direction of Mike Troxel, agreed that clearly, such a need existed on Molokai and funded the Eye See A Need Vision Screening Service which begins on Monday, March 1, 2009.
“Clear, comfortable vision is a basic human right, not a luxury.” says Dr. Forte’, founder and director of Eye See A Need Vision Screening Service. “Therefore our mission is to go wherever vision services are needed on the planet Earth in order to accomplish the goal of helping others see their world clearly and experience a better quality of life.”
Joining forces with Dr. Doris Forte’ in the Eye See A Need Vision Screening Service are doctors Karsten Lee and Michael Leong, two optometrists from Oahu who participated in a vision screening on Molokai last spring. Their goal this year is to screen all of the elementary school aged children on Molokai. By providing vision screenings, the doctors hope to detect and prevent sight-threatening diseases, such as amblyopia which is the leading cause of blindness for children in the United States.
Mahalo to Change Happens Foundation for funding this project, the Board of Directors of You’re Living Proof, Inc., and to the Molokai Lions Club, known internationally for its support of vision services. Other contributors to the Eye See A Need Vision Screening Service on Molokai are Travel Advantage Network thru Hotel Molokai , Budget Rental Car, and the optometric technician team comprised of Lei Fujishiro, Leilani Ramos, and Lara Fae Ramos.
For more information about Eye See A Need, visit www.urlivingproof.org. For information about children’s vision, visit www.preventblindness.org/children/amblyopiaFAQ.html