PHILIPSBURG - Rotarians from Rotary District 7030 arrived on Sint Maarten to partake in a ceremony for the launch of a screening for the prevention of Retinopathy due to Diabetes Mellitus and the donation of a fundus camera to the White and Yellow Cross Foundation.
The group comprises of the District Secretary from District 7030, Mr Waddy Sowma; the President of Rotary Club Paramaribo Central Mr Rino Tjin Wong Joe; Eye Specialist and Representative of the Rotary Club Paramaribo Residence Dr Jerrel Pawiroredjo and other fellows from the clubs. A technical eye care assistant also traveled with the team for the training of staff at the White and Yellow Cross Foundation.
The project is a joint venture between the Rotary Clubs of Dutch Sint Maarten, Rotary Clubs of Suriname and the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman of Cayman Islands and was initiated by President Virginia Asin, President of the Rotary Club of St Martin Sunrise.
In August 2014 in a Rotary Presidents meeting with President Wayne Wilkie of Rotary Club of Sint Maarten Mid Isle and President Danny Ramchandani of Rotary Club Sint Maarten under the leadership of Assistant District Governor Rebecca Low, President Virginia presented the proposal which was immediately accepted.
The project was then presented to the Minister of Public Health Social Development and Labour, who endorsed and contributed to the project.
Through email correspondence, the Rotary Clubs of Suriname were approached for their participation because of their prior experience in a similar project and the potential to get support of an Eye Specialist to assist in guiding the project.
During a meeting with the Rotary clubs in Suriname in December 2014, in the presence of the District 7030 Secretary, President Virginia formally presented the project, which was received with unanimous approval.
By embracing the project as their International Project, the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman also became a partner in the project.
Important and very dedicated partners in this project are also the American University of the Caribbean and the White and Yellow Cross Foundation.
The project entails the purchase and the donation of a fundus camera to the WYCF for the screening of the retina in persons that are diagnosed with or suffer from Diabetes Mellitus. Through this screening blindness due to DM can be prevented if diagnosed at an early stage. With this donation the Rotary Clubs and Partners also launch the program for eye screening on Sint Maarten for the prevention of Retinopathy.
During their stay the visitors will bring a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister, the Hon. Marcel Gumbs and the Minister of Public Health Social Development and Labour, Hon. Ms Rita Bourne-Gumbs On Thursday 16 and Friday 17 April 2015 the training for personnel of the WYCF in the handling and maintenance of the camera will take place and on Friday 17 April, Health Care Providers will be trained in the analysis of the retina image.
This project would not have been possible without the generous support of numerous donors. "We are forever grateful for their generosity" said President Virginia and we thank them on behalf of the people of Sint Maarten.
The partners anxiously look forward to the launch that will take place at White and Yellow Cross Foundation on Saturday 18 April 2015 from 11 AM to 2 PM.