How ZEISS got eye care to kids in a very remote place

Steven Haifawi, ZEISS Sr. Director of Customer Service, told us an amazing story of how he helped get vision care to 5 kids in Honduras. As anyone who has done vision mission trips knows, you have to be part MacGyver to deliver eye exams and vision correction when there are no local eye doctors or diagnostic instruments.

Some friends of Steven’s, Jim and Sheri, were doing volunteer teaching on Utila Cays Island, a very remote island off the coast of Honduras. The island has a total population of only 500, and there were 80 kids in their school. They came to realize that some of the children had vision problems, but there were no eye doctors to help them.

The volunteers called Steven. He instructed them on how to download an iPad app that would let them perform some basic visual acuity checks. Using that method, they identified 5 children who needed vision correction.

Next, they found someone who would take Jim, Sheri, and the 5 children by boat to another island where there was an OD. In the meantime, Steven sent pictures of some frame options from a local doctor. The children chose the frames they liked best, and Steven purchased them.

They sent the prescriptions to Steven, but forgot the PDs – so one of the adults on the island had to be taught how to do PD measurements. Said Steven, “Thank you, YouTube!”

Once Steven had the prescriptions, PDs, and frames, he had Jerry Haustetter at the ZEISS lab in Kentucky process the lenses and have them fitted perfectly. The kids got ZEISS Single Vision with Photofusion self-tinting and DuraVision Platinum A/R.

As you can see from the happy faces, the kids love their new glasses.

Thanks to Steven, Jerry, Jim and Sheri for overcoming obstacles to help these kids. Every child deserves the chance to see!