Dr. Hurt returns to Haiti
- Posted on: Jul 30 2019
Since November 2005, Dr. Hurt has been making a yearly medical mission trip to Haiti. Haiti is a Caribbean country east of Cuba. It shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Dr. Hurt started going to Haiti with a group of local doctors through his Faith Community Church in New Albany.
While in Haiti, Dr. Hurt and the other local doctors hold three days of clinics. When they arrive in Haiti they do not have a set schedule—nothing planned or announced. A local pastor might say I need you to come over to my church. Most of the churches are just one big room, just a concrete block structure with a roof and open windows. They push everything to the side and make examination lanes. You might have a dentist pulling teeth in one lane, Dr. Hurt conducting eye exams right next to him, and a general physician next to him. While the doctors cannot conduct surgery, doing things as simple as pulling a tooth that has been aching for months or giving someone some reading glasses can truly change their lives.
Dr. Hurt takes about 1,000 pairs of eyeglasses and 100 pairs of non-prescription sunglasses that are donated, and he will buy some reading glasses to take as well. Most of the Haitians have never seen an eye doctor before. So, he has very few patients that come in already with an old pair of eyeglasses. The greatest need is for reading glasses and bifocals. Many of the people of Haiti have good vision in the distance, but once they reach 40 years of age, they are no longer able to read, sew, or other near tasks.
Dr. Hurt also takes medications (drops) to treat red or dry eye. Antibiotics are commonly needed for eye infections, but the greatest need is for artificial tears. Haiti’s air is extremely smoky. The Haitians use fire for cooking, light, burning trash, and warmth. Artificial tears are used to rinse the eyes and lubricate them. While a pair of glasses or antibiotic/lubricant drops might seem trivial to us, it is a life saving deal to the people in Haiti.
Year after year Dr. Hurt and the other local doctors have such an incredible impact on the people in Haiti. The Haitians are now able to resume cooking, sewing, reading, and other important tasks, all because of these local doctors. Special thanks to Dr. Hurt and the other local doctors that give their time annually to the people in Haiti!
The following are some pictures that Dr. Hurt wanted to share with you all:
This is the church/school where we held clinics the first day.
Some kids don’t need prescription glasses, but we come prepared with pipe cleaners.
Removing a corneal foreign body.
Checking the eye pressure with a Schiotz tonometer.
Refracting a patient
Posted in: Uncategorized