Eye Surgery at the Hospital St. Joseph’s in Haiti

I met Dr. Anika Michael on her first mission trip with AHDH in the summer of 2007; she was the very first Ophthalmologist at the Hospital St. Joseph in Ridoré. She brought with her a couple of large suitcases and several boxes of donated eyeglasses, which she handed out to her patients. Now a few years later Dr. Michael is doing eye surgery at St. Joseph’s; her specialty is in Cornea and Refractive surgery. She was able to equip an eye clinic, which is quit impressive, and an operating room at the Hospital and with the help of other volunteers they are able to not only give out glasses, but also prevent blindness by treating glaucoma and doing cataract surgery.

Dr. Reynold Monsanto who lives in Jacmel, is the only Ophthalmologist in the entire southeast department of the country. He assists with eye exams and the post-op care after we leave.

Dr. Michael and Dr. Monsanto work so well together if I didn’t know better I would think they had been doing so for a very long time. In February 2009 they performed their first cataract extraction with a Port-au-Prince ophthalmologist, Dr. Ritza Eugene.

In the summer of 2010, Dr. Michael and Dr. Monsanto were finally able to do the first Phacoemulsification cataract extraction at the Hospital St. Joseph’s allowing them to treat cataract patients much earlier and thus avoiding years of debilitating blindness waiting for the cataract to mature.

Our last mission trip was the most successful of all. Dr. Monsanto and Dr. Michael were able to do record number of eye surgeries – 19!!  Nilam Patel, a hard-working Optometrist from Texas saw over 200 patients in the clinic and distributed over 200 much-needed glasses and diagnosed and treated countless cases of glaucoma.”

Dr. Anika Michael, Dr. Arshi Michael and Dr. Belizaire check out the equipment

Engineers making the equipment ready in the OR

Everyone works getting ready for the people. Carl cleans the floor and makes sure its ready for the first patient.

Dr. Michael and Dr. Pilam getting the supplies ready making sure they have what they need for the next day.

Dr. Michael and Dr. Nilam Patel check the supplies for the next day making sure they have what they need.

hundreds of eye glasses file the bins and most or all of them will be given out to the patients on this mission trip.

Dr. Patel checking the patient for glaucoma and cataracts.

Dr. Patel works hard at her job. Checking as many patients as she possible can before leaving for the night.

She checks people of all ages including children.

The eye clinic stays busy. People line up and wait for hours to see the Doctor.

Dr. Michael and Dr. Monsanto prepare their first patient of the day

Dr. Monsanto with the patient.

Dr. Monsanto, Dr. Michael and their assistant Belizaire preparing the patient for surgery.

Dr. Michael preps her patient. In the left corner the assistant can watch the procedure on the screen.

Everyone remains still and quiet as Dr. Michael begins the procedure.

Dr. Michael doing what she does best.

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

The procedure

The eye is ready to be repaired.

Dr. Monsanto prepares another patient for surgery.

Dr. Monsanto doing what he does best.

Dr. Monsanto

Dr. Monsanto doing what he does best.

Preparing the eye for surgery.

Repairing the eye

When the bandage is removed this patient will see again.


About Jeane La Rance

My brother gave me my first camera when I was nine or ten years of age, he bought it in Europe. I don't remember much about the camera itself it was the pictures I couldn't get enough of, and that still holds true. My life is all about photography. In the beginning it was black and white film. I loved being in the darkroom nothing could compare to it and even though I swore I'd never go digital, I rarely shoot film anymore. I went to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM for my Bachelors Degree. There I studied Documentary Photography, Cinematography and Post Production Editing. Later I attended Savannah College of Art and Design for a Masters Degree in the same fields of study, Photography and Moving Images.
This entry was posted in Documentary Photography, Medical Photography, Photography in Haiti. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Eye Surgery at the Hospital St. Joseph’s in Haiti

  1. John similien says:

    My name is john, I live in petion-ville.
    I’m 21 years old.
    When I was really young I got into an argument with another kid, he got mad and threw a rock, it hit me in my right eye.
    I didn’t really think that was in issue until 8 years ago when I lost vision on that eye.
    Went to see a doctor in petion ville, they say it’s not fixable, I still want a second opinion from you.
    Also that eye is crooked, and I was wondering if you guys can straigting it up for me.
    It’s my biggest insecurity because I always get people confuse when I’m looking around.
    Please let me know if you guys can help me or know of someone that could.
    Thank you.

  2. Anne says:

    Hi- may I ask how many ophthalmologist live and practice eye surgery in the Jacmel region? My uncle is a optometrist and needs contacts. thanks!

    • I’m not sure how many in Haiti I live in the US I’m not a doctor I’m their photographer. I do know for sure their are several in the area but I don’t have the info. I believe Dr. Monsanto is in Jacmel he’s a great doctor!

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