Through the night into the Altiplano
The most important project of 2021 for Lentes al Instante (Bolivia), or LAI for short, was the construction of a new grinding workshop for astigmatism glasses. The need in Bolivia is great: around 20 percent of people with defective vision who attend our eye camps suffer from astigmatism.
Help with astigmatism in the Bolivian highlands
Such glasses cost the equivalent of at least 45 US dollars in Bolivia and are therefore unaffordable for most people, especially in rural areas, and a simple grinding workshop was set up under the direction of Prof. Max Steiner, in which LAI (Bolivia) can now grind the cylindrical glasses itself.
However, the biggest challenge is not grinding the glasses, but transporting them to the patients. The team has developed a creative system to get the specially made glasses over hundreds of kilometers to the people with defective vision on time: If patients with astigmatism are identified at an eye camp, the team sends the values by text message to the head office in Santa Cruz. There, the lenses are ground within 24 hours.
An overnight bus then takes the finished glasses to the village where our team is currently running the eye camp. The next morning, our colleagues receive the glasses and fit them to the patient.
By the end of 2022, 2,000 people with astigmatism will have received the right glasses in this way.
I am very grateful for the work at Lenes al Instante and feel valued.