What a wonderful presentation by the four former LaTrobe University orthoptic students last Monday evening who spoke about their experiences as members of the Philippines eye and ear mission in October 2019. We were also joined on the night by several other volunteers who were part of the mission team.
Damon Goddard, Bradley Lai, Stinoj Shaju and Rachel Wishart spoke about their typical day, with very early mornings, up to two hours travel, then conducting the eye tests and also assisting/observing the cataract  operations followed by some leisure time, bed and then up to do it all over again the next day. But while the days were long, the experiences were fantastic.
They observed that they came across clinical issues they were very unlikely to encounter in Australia.
They also spoke about the happiness of the children and the culture which Doug Hawley also noted led to a reluctance by some Philippine residents, who were diagnosed with cataracts, but who were hesitant to undergo surgery.
Doug also gave an insight into the numbers:
  • 100 surgeries conducted
  • 600 reading glasses distributed
  • 500 sunglasses distributed
  • countless ears tested
The group then showed a terrific video which highlighted the experiences from the trip.
In conclusion they thanked the Club for giving them the opportunity to be part of the eye and ear mission to the Philippines.