Vision and Eye Care

Corozal has several options for eye care at low or even no cost!

BMI

In 1986 a group of eye specialists which became Benevolent Missions International began coming to Belize to provide eyecare to the underserved. Dr. Downey Price, an ophthalmologist and Rev B.T.Williams, a Methodist minister organized the effort. The Belize Ministry of Health and the Methodist Church of Belize extended the invitation to begin these services. BMI is headquartered in Texas and is a non-profit organization.

The first free-standing clinic in Belize, the Methodist Eye Center was built and equipped in Corozal Town in 1986. It is near the Corozal Community Hospital. Funds were primarily from St. Luke's Methodist Church in Houston, TX. Now the clinical teams work in the area called the Duke Walker Eye Center. In 2003 The Elfrida Miguel Surgery Center was built, and this is where the surgical team now works.

At the present time, there are two to three missions to Corozal annually, one being primarily for surgery due to the number of people in need. The other clinics take care of a multitude of eye issues, and appointments should be made in advance.

Here’s a graphic that a grateful patient made to show the improvements in vision that BMI’s cataract surgery can make:

For more details about the history of BMI's work in Belize, see this page.

BMI Team Visit, June 2016

BMI Surgical Team November 2016

So many people are need that a team was in Corozal in November of 2016 just doing cataract surgeries. Over 40 people received much needed surgery at the time. On the team were (left to right) Sherrie Covarrubias CRNA, Dr. Bill Quayle, Angela Nielson RN, Jane Johnson RN BSN, Karl Johnson, Aaron Amacher IV, and Dr. Aaron Amacher III. Thanks to Karl Johnson for this image and the names.

BCVI

The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) is a dynamic non-governmental organization providing a wide variety of eye care for Belizeans at no cost. They are active in screening for visual needs, offering glasses at a reasonable cost, and making referrals for more serious problems encountered.

The BMI and the Methodist Church have graciously offered the use of the Methodist Eye Center in Corozal, and they usually come the second Tuesday of the month.

Dr. Rita Witzil, an optometrist, accompanied by a receptionist, Elia Slusher or Mags Sabido, have been coming to Corozal to serve patients since 2004. No appointments are made, people are seen on a first-come first-serve basis. Services provided are refractions (eye tests and measurements for glasses), a fundus check (part of the eyeball) for eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, pterygum (a benign growth), and infections. If you need glasses, they have a selection of frames to choose from that they bring with them, you need a 50% deposit, and they will tell you how and when you will get your glasses. For more about this organization you can go to BCVI.org

In addition to the above, at times the Rotary Club of Corozal and the Rayjon Eyeglass Team, a division of Share Care of Sarnia, Inc., join to provide needed services to our people. They provide free glasses and their services and times are locally advertised and announced. They were here in November, 2016 as well as in 2011. Here is an article about the 2011 visit.

Editors' note: We would like to express our gratitude for everyone at the Methodist Eye Center who graciously allowed us to take pictures and provide information requested. And many thanks to Mrs. Ismay Brooks for her years of tireless dedication to this project. Also, appreciation goes out to the folks at the BCVI who have always been cordial and helpful. And let us not forget ALL the Corozal volunteers who help make all these activities successful!

Printed from corozal.com (Vision)