New York ophthalmologists provide eye care in Haiti

ByMartha R. Camara

Aug 12, 2022

A pair of ophthalmologists from New York traveled to Haiti in July to provide eye care to impoverished areas of the island.

Anika Michael, MD, and Benjeil Edghill, MD, both ophthalmology specialists with AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY) in New York, traveled to Haiti in July for a medical mission of mercy.

According to an ACPNY press release, the couple spent a 5-day care mission in the Caribbean country, where they assessed and treated more than 400 patients and performed around 90 surgeries.

“We are proud of Dr. Michael and Dr. Edghill for their outstanding charitable work and sense of compassion both at home and abroad,” said Navarra Rodriguez, MD, ACPNY President and Medical Director, in the press release. “Extending empathy, clinical services and a sense of global community is how many members of the ACPNY medical team give back and set themselves apart.”

Given the infrastructural problems and political turmoil that Haiti has faced, access to medical care, especially ophthalmology, is often limited. For the past fifteen years, Michael has been engaged in these semi-annual missions around the country to provide life-changing sight restoration procedures to patients, including cataract surgeries.

On their return, the doctors shared the story of a young man in his thirties who traveled more than 4 hours (by car), but arrived too late for the clinic that day. Rather than turn back, he decided to spend the night and camp on a bench to be in the front line for the clinic the next day.

The ACPNY team restored his sight the same morning after examination and treatment. Before this visit, the gentleman had been blind for three years after suffering a work accident.

“It’s stories like this that make all the hard work worth it,” Michael said in the press release. “In the face of the pandemic, natural disasters and political unrest, seeing such resilience in the Haitian people fills me with hope for the future.”

“The reward of making an impact excites me to return,” Edghill said in the statement, making the trip for the fourth time this year. “We are not only restoring sight to our patients, but we are also restoring life to them and their caregivers.”