“There was no technology available” for refraction in the Ugandan village where Dr Randall Thomas, volunteering with Mission Servants Ministry in August 2019, provided aid to over 800 adults and children. “We took QuickSee because I am convinced it’s spot on…we relied on its accuracy to render prescriptions*.”
Dr Thomas, Bob Hillebrand (Mission Servants Ministry co-founder and CEO), and other volunteers from North Carolina travelled to collaborate with local organizations Child Redeemed Mission Home and Bwase Redeemed Church, 125 miles northeast of Entebbe, to provide a combination of aid services, including physical, practical, and spiritual support. Two days of air and ground travel, over 125 pounds of supplies per person—it was Mission Servants Ministry’s 28th such trip.
“Our goal is to empower the churches to reach out into their communities, and support projects they initiate,” said Mr Hillebrand.
On this trip, the churches requested general medical screening, so the team came prepared for basic vision, dental, and health examinations and service. The American volunteer team was joined by local church members and healthcare professionals from regional hospitals. They performed services on site when possible, and referred more serious cases to appropriate treatment locally. “Many people there are suffering with bad eyesight,” recalled Mr Hillebrand, “and they just had no hope of helping themselves.”
Scaling a solution to the global burden of uncorrected refractive error
Restoring vision where much was lost
20/20 vision for eyes—and lives
Dr Thomas refracted patients to make prescriptions for glasses, and also examined them for eye health. “A boy came to me for dental screening, with his mouth open, but he had this swollen eye with pus coming out,” recalled Mr Hillebrand. “I said, you need to go right over there” to Dr Thomas’s vision station. He had infection the team was able to treat.
“The beauty of QuickSee was that it allow us to get a baseline vision assessment to more accurately know what reading glasses” people might need, said Dr Thomas. “We could efficiently quantify their visual status,” especially among the adults. “So if a patient was a +1D they might need a +3.5D instead of a +2.5D…[QuickSee] let us be more exacting in delivering reading glasses.” Eyeglasses were provided by
National Vision, Restoring Vision, and others so patients could leave with correction immediately. (On prior trips, without QuickSee and Dr Thomas’s expert help, Mission Servants Ministry would do their best to match people with the donated readers they brought.)