Supporting Sustainable Practices that Increase Surgical Volumes, Contribute to Educational & Technological Improvements, and Grow the Sector of Ophthalmology in HondurasNavigation
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There are at least 50,000 people needlessly blind from cataracts in Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Sight can be restored for virtually all of these people with a 15 minute surgery and about $100 worth of resources. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world and are also one of the easiest to fix, given proper resources.
In the early 1990’s, Atlanta ophthalmologist Alan Kozarsky began working with Atlanta physician Steve Wilks and Honduran ophthalmologist Carlos Gonzalez to bring regular cataract surgery brigades to Honduras. These brigades restored sight for several hundred poor Hondurans each year who otherwise would not have had access to surgery. In 2008, Alan Kozarsky and Kyle Coffey founded ECHO Foundation as a US non-profit to grow this effort. Over the years, we have built many local relationships in Honduras and a large network of committed volunteer surgeons and other professionals. We continue to send cataract surgery brigades to Honduras to augment the efforts of local ophthalmologists, and have become very focused on making sustainable impacts that grow the sector of ophthalmology in Honduras.
Our sustainability initiative, known as Unidos Visión, is currently working on a three year capital improvement plan for the San Pedro Sula Lions’ Hospital Fraternidad. This non-profit eye hospital provides invaluable services to the people of Northern and Central Honduras, and is in need of equipment and facility upgrades to reach full operating capacity. Follow our progress as we work with Hospital Fraternidad to grow surgical volumes and continue to grow our role as a protagonist for Honduran ophthalmology.
Originally envisioned as a stand-alone surgical facility, Unidos Visión has evolved into a plan to promote sustainability, increase surgical volumes, and improve education and technology by building on existing in-country resources. We believe that contributing to existing in-country resources is the most effective and efficient way to contribute to overall sector growth of ophthalmology in Honduras.
“It is incredible that there are over 50,000 Hondurans that are blind from cataracts just two and a half airline hours from Atlanta; this is an international health issue that can definitely be solved.” -Dr. Alan Kozarsky
The doctors of Eye Consultants of Atlanta and its refractive surgery division, Piedmont Better Vision, are initiating a new humanitarian campaign to aid underprivileged patients in Central America. Blindness from cataracts is the most common cause of blindness in many third world nations. Fortunately, the condition can be easily treated with modern cataract surgery.