AN eye specialist from Gibraltar has said she was humbled by taking part in a non-profit trip with a world-famous London eye hospital testing the sight of Guatemalan children.
Michelle Brown, Gibraltar Health Authority’s Head Orthoptist helped test nearly 400 children during her stay in the South American country.
She joined up with five eye specialists from the UK’s Moorfields Eye Hospital that prescribed glasses to 102 children from the Guatemalan school
The hospital is now preparing to send the glasses to the children to help them in their education.
“The team, made up of three orthoptists, two optometrists and one ophthalmologist are all experts in paediatric eye care,” the GHA said in a statement.
“Together they screened 374 children in total, of which 102 were prescribed glasses.”
Brown helped check the children’s eyesight as they had never had an eye test before because they were so poor.
She said the school staff welcomed the team ‘with open arms’ as they arrived in the school grounds.
“It really was such a rewarding experience to see the look on the children’s faces when we put up lenses to help them see clearer,” Brown said.
“They were so happy with so little, it was humbling and a great reminder of how lucky we are in Gibraltar to have healthcare and support.”
The school authorities hope the visit will give them a chance to break the cycle of poverty they are in.
They believe that by giving them a good education they will be able to aspire to better paying jobs.
“Most of these families would not be able to afford a pair of glasses for their children, and hopefully our work will mean that they are able to excel further with the correct tools,” Brown added.
GHA Director General Patrick Geoghegan complemented his orthopist’s work as ‘truly exceptional’ on the trip.
“She is a great ambassador for the GHA who has shown true professionalism and compassion for her job,” he said.
“I congratulate Michelle on embarking on this great initiative and for helping those who are truly in need of it.”
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