It was an incredible inaugural iCARE mission in St. Lucia with the outstanding Great Shape! Inc. volunteers serving more than two thousand persons in the island’s capital Castries.
Led by a team of 39 volunteers, the free eye care clinic was held August 9 to 13, 2021 serving more than 2000 persons with eye exams, glasses, medications, SLT laser surgery for glaucoma, PRP laser surgery for diabetic retinopathy, and hypertension/diabetes screening.
From its very first day to the last, the iCARE team was met by crowds, many arriving in advance as early as 4a.m.
The population of St. Lucia is estimated at ~184,568, making the total amount of those served representing 1.1% of the entire country. Even the prime minister stopped by, sharing his support.
More than 1000 diabetes and hypertension screenings were performed from which more than half showcased higher than normal blood pressures readings. All were educated on practical ways to improve their standing and further referred to their local health care providers for immediate care.
In the end, more than 1800 sunglasses and close to 900 reading glassed were distributed and more than 500 patients or 27% of patients were in need of prescription glasses. All will be custom made in the United States and hand delivered within a month.
Since its inception in 2009, iCARE has conducted 24 weeks of clinics and 5 weeks of cataract surgery – providing critical services and goods valued at more than US$13 million to thousands of people in Jamaica, Antigua, Turks & Caicos, and St. Lucia.
The Sandals Foundation will continue to support the health of Caribbean communities by investing in the services that create healthy families.