February 4, 2016


“It has been just over 2 months now since I returned from Ghana and I am still reeling over what an incredible and empowering journey it was. Every member of the Ghana Health Team was extremely welcoming and supportive throughout the journey. Many of the team members were celebrating their 5th or even 7th time participating in the medical mission. It was inspiring to meet so many people who believe so much in the cause that they go back, year after year.

As an integral part of the eye team, I was privileged to provide eye exams and glasses to as many as 180 patients each day. People waited in long line-ups for the services and it was heartbreaking that even with 3 eye doctors working tirelessly, we still had to leave at the end of the clinic day without seeing everyone that needed help. We had incredible support staff whose efficiency and dedication allowed us to see and help a large volume of patients. Due in large part to the generous donations of many people, we were able to bring a laser with us to Ghana as well. This allowed us to provide vision saving glaucoma surgeries to over 100 patients.

Over the course of 9 clinic days in various rural locations, the Eye Team was able to assist over 1000 people with necessary vision care. Other medical teams included pharmacy, dental, nursing, surgical and family medical teams. Together, I believe that over 10,000 people in Ghana were treated with many lives saved.

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The next big goal of the charity is to build a local hospital in Carpenter. This is a 10 million dollar proposal but I know that this incredible organization will do it. Their hope is simply to provide the same “luxury” that we all receive here in Canada, accessible and sustainable health care for everyone.

Thank-you to everyone for your on-going support and generosity in my journey. If you wish to continue providing support for GRID-NEA in their endeavor to build the hospital, please go check out their web page!”


Dr. Kristel JefferiesAbout the Author
Dr. Kristel Jefferies

Dr. Jefferies completed her degree in Biochemistry, graduating with Highest Honours, in 2008 at the University of Guelph. In 2013, she completed her doctorate degree at the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry and Vision Science, where she received the Reginald Williams Memorial Scholarship for Academic Excellence and the W. Ross Andrews Prize for Clinical Optometry. For more information about Dr. Jefferies and her specialized interests relating to optometry, click here.