Eye care mission to the Dominican Republic, March 2006 Sade Kosoko-Lasaki, MD, MSPH, MBA, Creighton University, Omaha, NE, USA Introduction During our previous trip to the Dominican Republic (DR), we demonstrated that VAD is a public health problem in this country. This was reported in SIGHT AND LIFE Newsletter 2/2005 (pp. 35–36) with more details given in the 3/2005 issue (pp. 21–23). In March 2006, Creighton University realized a similar mission with the same partners. In addition to the screening of children and the administration of vitamin A capsules, adults were examined for glaucoma. Glaucoma is also the commonest cause of blindness in African-American and Hispanic populations. The primary health care workers (Cooperadores) received a half- day review and training session on the clinical signs and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency, its effects on childhood morbidity and mortality and preventative strategies. Dr. Kosoko-Lasa- ki emphasized the benefits of breast-feeding and encouraged the consumption of foods rich in vitamin A, such as green leafy vegetables, carrots, mangoes, papaya, etc. The Cooperadores also received lectures on the importance of adults having their eyes screened for glaucoma. All the Cooperadores received eye exams and screening. Two new cases of glaucoma were identified amongst the group. Other trip activities included screening children for the eye signs of vitamin A deficiency, distributing vitamin A capsules, and providing screening and ocular examination and treatment for adults, specifically for glaucoma. In addition, a lecture to the Ophthalmology Society on the importance of screening for glaucoma was delivered by Dr. Kosoko-Lasaki.
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