FAQs – SEE’s Response to COVID-19 Challenges

March 2020 | Events, SEE News

By Paolena Comouche

Content Writer/Special Projects

How is SEE International impacted by COVID-19?

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, SEE remains firmly committed to our mission of reducing the burden of needless blindness in the world. COVID-19 has changed our methods, but it will not change our mission.  In the interest of protecting the health of our physicians and patients, it is necessary for SEE to temporarily pause support to our short-term international programs and our domestic and local programs effective immediately through the end of June 2020. Instead, we have modified our delivery model. We will not at this time send American physicians overseas, but we will be increasing our direct-supply support to our trusted host doctors and programs overseas as we continue our sight restoring work.

We will continue to provide updated information here.

What is SEE doing to continue its work during this challenging time?

The global spread of the Coronavirus is an exceedingly impactful issue that has affected the lives of many and will likely continue to do so as the situation progresses. Here at SEE, we feel it is our responsibility to be vigilant and prioritize the safety of our patients, supporters, and partners. In acknowledgment of this, we are using this time wisely and focusing on larger project initiatives to build strategies for the future of SEE. Since travel has been temporarily paused, we are continuing our work by continuously sending much needed supplies to our international partners.

How are international operations affected?

Our patients and community are at the center of all that we do. With that in mind, we remain committed to the goal of fighting preventable blindness around the world by protecting the wellbeing of those that we serve and those that help us serve. To continue our sight-restoring work, we are increasing our direct-supply support to our partners in Nepal and India. 

We are increasing intraocular lens (IOL) support to EREC-P’s hospitals: BEH (Biratnagar Eye Hospital) in Biratnagar and SCEH (Sagarmatha Choudhary Eye Hospital) in Lahan, Nepal. We are also continuing our monthly IOL support to our India sites: Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital in Siliguri, India and Divine Eye Foundations (DEF) Paramahansa Yogananda Netralaya Eye Hospital in Rajahmundry, India. 

If you are an international patient in need of care, at this time, please contact us at info@seeintl.org. For any urgent operational inquiries, please contact the Vice President of Programs, Arianna Castellanos at arianna@seeintl.org.

How are domestic operations affected?

SEE is currently pausing all short-term programs within the United States effective immediately through the end of May 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops.

If you are a U.S. based optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist interested in joining SEE’s mission, please contact us at programs@seeintl.org

If you are a U.S. patient in need of care, at this time, please contact us at info@seeintl.org.

How are local Santa Barbara Vision Care operations affected?

SEE’s Santa Barbara Vision Care program is currently pausing all program activity including screening events, comprehensive exams, and referrals effective immediately through the end of May 2020.

For those patients currently scheduled to visit us, our SBVC team will be reaching out to you after this period of deferment to reschedule your appointment date and time. For any additional questions, please contact the Director of SBVC, Yaneth Beltran at yaneth@seeintl.org

What does the future of SEE look like?

We are fully committed to continuing our mission through this difficult time and will do so through direct-supply support until it is safe to resume normal operations. Once the environment provides a safe atmosphere for all of SEE’s constituency, we will proceed with these operations with renewed vigor. During this time, we will continue to work to be adaptable and to earn your support so we may plunge back into the full scope of our work as quickly and efficiently as possible as soon as the situation has settled.

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