Phoropter Donation Project
Make a difference in someone’s life!
The adage, feed a man a fish and you fed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you fed him for a lifetime, is the essence of sustainable eye care missions.
Helping those who have the least and need our eye care services the most has traditionally been served by hosting an optical mission in some of the neediest international areas. While this is a very generous and noble cause, one-time optical missions, do not offer long term solutions for the 1 in 7 people on our planet who lack access to vision care and suffer preventable vision loss.
Last February, I participated in a sustainable teaching mission in Rwanda, conducted by One Sight Foundation, as part of their worldwide mission to eradicate preventable blindness. Teams from the USA went over to teach providers and nurses how to perform refractions and operate an eye care center.
Through years of careful strategic planning, equipping, and teaching the local providers to provide refractive care, eye care centers have been established in over 50 regional hospitals in Rwanda, offering complete eye care. Today, there are often 2 eye care providers per clinic that evaluate eyes, prescribe medical prescription services, and now add trial frame refractions to over 20 patients a day.
During the mission, I noticed a strong need to integrate phoropters. As all optometrist know, trial frame refractions are tedious. Teaching refraction to the Rwanda health care providers was a most rewarding mission experience, yet it was painful to see how providers struggle with a trial frame process.
Most optometrists consider a phoropter a necessity and AACO knows many of you sympathize with this matter, so that is why AACO is issuing a donation Call for Action.
AACO has recently developed a 501(c) 3 charitable foundation and is now accepting your in-kind donations of lightly used phoropters as well as cash donations. We are asking our optometric community, vendors, and instrument companies to please consider promoting the donation of any minus cylinder phoropter. The goal is to donate 25 (or more) minus cylinder phoropters to the Rwanda eye care providers by 2021.
By Dr. Vincent Facciano, OD, FAAO