Peru Eye Health Project

The Peru Eye Health Project aims to increase awareness of behaviors and interventions that can prevent eye injury and disease among the residents of Chulucanas, Peru. It is an ongoing, unique service learning opportunity for Marymount students. A team of professors from Marymount has partnered with Chulucanas for this project. Alongside with the local church, the community in Chulucanas and the Lions Club of Piura, health care students and faculty will travel to Chulucanas in May 2016 to promote the prevention of eye injury and disease. 

Three-phase Program

The intervention program will be delivered through three phases:

  • Phase 1: eye health education
  • Phase 2: improving access to eye health services and resources
  • Phase 3: eye health communications campaign

The overall goal of the program is to educate community members on the importance of eye health and to create a sustainable eye health promotion program through various initiatives. Screenings to over 500 elementary school children, their teachers and local health promoters for refractive error and provided eye health were done on the last visit. 

How the Program Began

In October 2011, a pilot study was conducted with 72 participants between the ages of 19-63 in Chulucanas. This study noted that over 80% of the population surveyed had existing eye problems that were not being clinically addressed. 

One reason for the prominence of eye health issues is the lack of available eye care services and resources within the town of Chulucanas. The closest ophthalmologist is over 60 miles away, in the town of Piura. Barriers associated with seeking services in Piura include transportation costs, employment wage loss, and the lack of efficient referral management for eye health care.

For more information on Marymount University’s Peru Eye Health Project, please email Dr. Aly Einsenhardt.