Blindness in Jamaica
Jamaica is a picturesque Caribbean island, known for its lush topography of mountain ranges, forests, and bright beaches. Since declaring independence from the United Kingdom in 1962, the country has dealt with periods of significant economic growth and decline. Health care is free to all citizens and legal residents, but many Jamaicans face uneven access. As the population has boomed, and then aged, over the past five decades, the health care system faces increasing strains. What’s more, rural regions receive little to no care. Most of the people living in these areas do not have access to transportation to reach a clinic.
Almost half of the Jamaican population has never received an eye exam. Consequently, approximately 27,000 Jamaicans suffer from preventable blindness. Cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy are among the leading causes.
SEE in Jamaica
We have been providing critical eye care services to communities in the island nation for over thirty years.
Each year, SEE holds at least four programs in the country, restoring sight to between 50 and 100 patients each clinic. In St. Ann’s Bay, our volunteer surgeons work with the Alliance of Jamaica American Humanitarians to treat patients suffering from cataracts and glaucoma.
In Montego Bay, SEE annually partners with Great Shape! Inc. and Volunteer Optometric Services in Humanity (VOSH) International to provide eye care and necessary sight-restoring surgeries.