At the invitation of our partners, SEE teams work with doctors and health officials to provide care to thousands of people blinded by treatable eye conditions.
Visiting teams volunteer their time and expertise and transport donated supplies to assist host ophthalmologists in developing countries and relieve the burden of blindness.
In Santa Barbara, SEE carries out its mission through Santa Barbara Vision Care, which provides free comprehensive vision care services in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties in partnership with local ophthalmologists and optometrists.
By providing comprehensive eyecare to our patients free of charge, our local program bridges the gap of healthcare equity in our community. This program ensures underserved individuals don’t have to pick and choose what services they receive.
Our services include preliminary screenings, comprehensive eye exams, and any necessary follow-up care, such as vouchers for free, prescription eyeglasses.
SEE coordinates and oversees educational exchanges to increase access to high-quality eye care and to foster the sustainable growth of eye care systems around the world. Our educational courses primarily focus on Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS).
MSICS is a time- and cost-efficient surgical procedure that can restore sight to patients with advanced cataracts in rural and remote locations. In a typical year, we train an average of over 100 ophthalmologists and residents in MSICS.
One of SEE’s long-term goals is to establish sustainable eyecare systems in regions where they are most needed. In doing so, we can have a profound, cascading impact on eyecare health and health equity in the communities we serve.
To that end, SEE supports programs such as the Kibuye Retinoblastoma Program at Kibuye Hope Hospital in Burundi. The program treats children with this deadly form of eye cancer in an area with few other treatment options.
This past year, we served over 30 children through this program. We are also proud to announce that this program will be led by local staff moving forward, a momentous step in the sustainability of retinoblastoma treatment in Burundi.
One of our most expansive international efforts is our Direct-Supply Support (DSS) to our partners in India, Nepal, Namibia, and El Salvador. This program provides necessary medical supplies such as intraocular lenses (IOL) to our trusted, global partners to support vision care services independent of our clinical trips. This ensures that our partners can provide sustainable, high-quality vision care year-round.