Mobile Eye Clinic on the Amazon Brings the Gift of Vision


Forty volunteers came from all over the world.

The expedition started with an 18-hour boat trip from Manaus, deep in the Brazilian Amazon, to the community of Muritinga, National Geographic reports.

The team, totaling about 65 people, included 40 volunteers from all over the world: translators, cooks, boat crew, a doctor, and eight Brazilian ophthalmologists in an effort to deliver the first fully digital eye clinic in a remote location.

“I have to say I was truly impressed with OneSight’s efficiency and organization in managing that many people,” said National Geographic photographer Stephanie Sinclair, who accompanied the expedition.

“It was a pretty tight operation, and I think from a medical point of view in wanting to reach the highest number of people it was very successful.

“It seemed like a lot to manage in such a remote area. There was even one volunteer who had been recently diagnosed with cancer, and had decided to postpone her treatment to do this, in part to feel like she had a greater purpose.”

Patients went home the same day with a pair of glasses. On one of the two expedition boats were two tracers and four lens edgers, as well as thousands of stock lenses for a variety of prescriptions and conditions. The team was able to turn out 40 pairs of glasses an hour.

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