SEE works with Dr. Duranda Ash from the Ash Eye Institute in Freeport by offering surgical assistance and supplies when needed.
The Bahamas is an archipelago in the Caribbean made up of over 700 islands, only 30 of which are actually inhabited. These islands were the site of Christopher Columbus’ first landfall in the New World in 1492. In 1973, The former British colony became a Commonwealth realm, forming its own government but retaining Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
Over the past decade, the government in the Bahamas has worked to increase coverage and accessibility of healthcare to its citizens. In January 2016, it launched the National Health Insurance plan. This initiative opened new hospitals and facilities and renovated existing health care centers. However, the healthcare system still disproportionately serves the two largest cities, Nassau and Grand Bahama.
As a result, Bahamians who live outside of these cities still have trouble accessing advanced medical care. With only six ophthalmologists in the entire country, people living on remote islands may never have their eyes checked. Therefore, those most in need of eye care often do not receive it.