Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Recap: Joint Eye/Blood Testing Program


The village-testing phase by the team of five former Samoan Peace Corps Volunteers (2000-2002) and four of their wives is finished. The team was headed by Christian Small and Shawn Barnes, both of whom are now medical students at the University of Hawaii and fluent in Samoan. The team tested more than 1,000 Samoans over 40 years old at nine sites on Savaii for cataracts, glaucoma, giving out sunglasses to all, and standard reading glasses. They sent those with cataract problems to be operated on by an eye surgeon joining the team today at Tuasivi Hospital. The program was free, paid for with donations from the U.S.A.

I was able to join their adventure and with the assistance of most of the current Savaii Peace Corps Volunteers was able to test 544 people at seven of their sites. In the process the current volunteers were trained and gained the experience to continue blood testing and weight reduction programs in their own villages over the coming year.

Here are some photos to give recognition to those Peace Corps Volunteers, current and alumns, and their wives who gave so much to help the people on the island of Savaii, Samoa.

Inez Paul (Blair Paul’s wife) interviewing for eye testing

Ben Harding (78) explaining in Samoan diet issues

Jenny Koch (80) and Spencer Narron (80) testing blood

Alisia Small (Chris Small's wife) & Trent Lobdell (80) testing

Taylor McFarlane (Phil's friend), Rosie Wong (79), Phil Owen (81), Anthony Della Posta (81) testing

Alisia Small and Nick Shuraleff (78) testing blood

Glodynne Wong Song , Iva resident, taking info for blood testing

Soupy Tauthong (81) testing near-sightedness

Ryan Keogh (P.C. Alum) testing for nearsightedness

Briony Donahue (80) testing for farsightedness

Roselina Kapeli, from my Iva host family, testing her mother Saloti

Rosie Wong (79) and Jim Metz (80) checking for cataracts

Shawn Wilson (P.C. Alum) and Crissy Keogh (Ryan’s wife) dispensing eye drops

Blair Paul (P.C. Alum) , Crissy Keogh, and Otila Wilson (Shawn Wilson's wife) dispensing glasses

Shawn Barnes, (P.C. Alum) pencil in ear, Crissy, and Ryan Keogh with Christian Small ((P.C. Alum, unseen) in booth with blinds doing retinal testing

Chow time in Iva, the last stop.

Chris Small (P.C. Alum) doing cataract surgury at Tuasivi Hospital

Ben Griffin (80), just looking good, with Trent Lobdell (80)


Anonymous said...

Malo Niko, i had fun working with you and of course dancing with you at the local bars in savaii. I will post some pics from our trip when i get back to hawaii. Chris and i are visiting his family in maine. I like your website. Keep in touch. alofa tele atu, alisa.

Anonymous said...

I want thank you all for helping people of Samoa. Best of health and happiness. You all gave up 2 or more of your life to help others, as the saying what goes around comes around, you will be rewarded. Faafetai tele lava.