In 13 years, some 3,500 Jamaicans have benefitted from vision care provided by St. Thomas Health Care organization and its Canadian Friends.
At its annual fundraising brunch last Sunday, Jamaica’s consul general in Toronto, George Ramocan, heaped praise on the organization.
“St. Thomas has chosen a particular area of service that’s highly needed in Jamaica,” said Ramocan. “Even if this service was available, there are many people in our country who would not have been able to afford it. To be able to improve the vision of so many people over the years is a great achievement and one that should be celebrated.”
The Canadian Friends St. Thomas Health Care Organization and its partners provide vision care at Princess Margaret Hospital’s eye clinic in Morant Bay, St. Thomas. The clinic is dedicated to the memory of the late Jamaican-born Dr. George Sewell who was the first Canadian optometrist to make the trip to Jamaica in 1999.
The organization, which takes at least one optometrist and an optician to Jamaica for one week each year to provide free vision care for local residents, presented awards to dedicated members, Alfreda Smith-Alexander, Marcia Lewis and Cynthia Wilson.
A Community Award was also presented to the Jamaican Canadian Association which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
“This honour means a lot when you consider it’s coming from our community,” said JCA president, Audrey Campbell. “It means they are recognizing the 50 years that the JCA has been contributing to many facets of the community. When you look back to 1962, Jamaicans were sprinkled across neighbourhoods here and there was no cohesive body. With the formation of this organization, other groups started to emerge. We are very proud of the legacy we started.”
The health care organization’s president, Andrea Wilkie, acknowledged the group’s supporters over the years.
By RON FANFAIR