Cinci Cares Presents: Doctors on a Mission | Daniel C. Love, M.D.
Tri-State Centers for Sight, Ophthalmologist
LEAD Magazine: What inspired you to undertake mission work?
Dr. Daniel C. Love: Back in the mid ’90s I went to a conference in San Francisco called Third World Ophthalmology because I was struck by how many patients worldwide need relatively simple eye care and surgery. I remember an ophthalmologist from Ghana say she was one of three ophthalmologists … for a million people! I realized then how big the needs were. In many cases these Third World patients have totally preventable blindness from things like cataracts, lack of glasses and vitamin deficiency.
LEAD Magazine: What have you learned by doing this work?
Dr. Daniel C. Love: I have learned that we need to reach out to Third World people all over the world. It is not fair that we have so much and they have so little. We need to share the bounty. If you read Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life,” short-term mission trips are one of his tenets to a purpose-driven life. I love helping and telling more people about it.
In Cuba I met an ophthalmologist who was working at the Matanzas pediatric hospital. He and one other doctor were responsible for a million people. On one occasion one of the doctors was out, leaving only one doc. The reason? The one out that day was 82 years old. He had seen 70 people in clinic the day before and was tired. The only surgical procedures that could be done were what could be seen with the naked eye. Their only microscope had broken two years earlier. The next year, we gave him a pair of donated surgical magnifier loupes and he was thrilled. The need for eye exams is so great. One patient’s prescription was -9. She could only see things a few inches away. She could not even see her children from any kind of distance.
Caring Partners recycles and utilizes used medical equipment or supplies. An example is when Fort Hamilton Hospital used to have blood pressure cuffs on the walls of patient rooms and now nurses have them on their carts. They contacted our group and gave us 75 blood pressure cuffs. Those are now used all over the world.
LEAD Magazine: What message would you like to share about this work?
Dr. Daniel C. Love: I would want them to know that we can use help. Not everyone has to go overseas or go to a Third World country but there are organizations that depend on volunteers to help sort through supplies. Pharmacological companies are sending truckloads of medications that they cannot use and would dispose of but we can take them and use them. Please check out any of the local organizations to help your fellow man.