Federal Way, WA, August 5, 2015- Madagascar, located on the west coast of Africa and known for its delicious vanilla beans, was the destination of choice for a medical mission that Dr. Jarstad and a team of eye care professionals undertook last week. Dr. Jarstad treated many patients with a variety of eye conditions, many of whom had never been examined by an eye doctor before.
In the weeks leading up to the mission, Dr. Jarstad and his wife Patricia, a certified nursing assistant, gathered unused prescription glasses to bring to Madagascar. While there they performed vision screenings and paired patients with appropriate eyeglass frames and lenses. “You wouldn’t believe how a pair of prescription glasses can change the life of a person,” stated Jarstad. “In many cases it makes the difference between a person being able to get a job and have an income–or being able to ride a bike to obtain food and supplies for the family.” The average income in Madagascar is $300 per year. “Things like prescription glasses are just not affordable on that kind of a budget,” said Jarstad.
As part of his humanitarian medical mission, Dr. Jarstad met with Ministry of Health Officials (image above) at the capitol Antananarivo, Madagascar to discuss equipment needs for the country’s 24 ophthalmologists. “It is both humbling and rewarding to be able to use my skills to help these delightful people and I would like to thank everyone who donated glasses.”