Our Team on the ground in the Philippines

In November 2018, our team went to the Philippines to provide training to local eye nurses. Our Foresight Director and Medical Adviser, A/Professor Geoffrey Painter, Dr Dominic McCall and Nurse Leader Kerrie Legg led an intensive training program for eye nurses at our partner hospital in Santiago City, situated in the Cagayan Valley, a rural area more than ten hours’ drive north of Manila.
With a large population, high levels of poverty and no comprehensive eye-care services, this region has one of the highest rates of blindness in the Philippines.
Eye nurses play a crucial role by providing ongoing care, testing and education. Our vision for this project has always been to invest in local training and furthering capacity on the ground. A local nurse who can go out to the communities with modern equipment and up-to-date training in sight tests, as well as providing health education to locals, ensures we can get to help more patients, especially young children.
12 nurses attended the training, passed their exams and are now competent in eye examination and vision screening.
During the training, the group had practical application of the screening of a village close to the Cagayan Airport, about 45 minutes drive from Santiago City. 35 patients were visited and the team found 8 people affected by cataracts.
This was a clear sign that there is still a great need to provide eye care services to the outskirts of Santiago City, as the people who were screened could not afford treatment.