Ciudad Juarez (“Juarez”) has an estimated population of 1.5 million people and lies south of the Rio Grande, across from El Paso, Texas. El Paso-Juarez is the second largest binational metropolitan area on the Mexico-U.S. border (after San Diego-Tijuana) , with a combined population of over 2.7 million people. While Juarez has historically suffered from a world-high crime rate (drug cartels wars, poverty and corruption), violence has started to decline in a concerted effort of government and local population.
Juarez suffers from scarce medical resources in various medical specialties, including ophthalmology. Pro Bono Doctors has partnered with Dr. Amescua, a leading Miami-based anterior ocular specialist and a local NGO USMC Strategic Alliance (“USMC”) to assist a local ophthalmic clinic, ConVision 2000, in providing free or heavily subsidized cataracts to disadvantaged residents in need of the procedure. Our support includes direct financial support on a per procedure basis. In addition, we provide local accommodations for medical students assisting on an unpaid basis in partnership with Tec Monterrey, the leading medical teaching institution in Northern Mexico. Dr. Amescua does not charge for the procedures and is actively training the medical staff to state-of-the-art standards: the Bascom Palmer Eye institute, where Dr. Amescua operates on a regular basis, is ranked the #1 eye hospital in the country as published in U.S. News & News & World Report’s Best Hospitals issue.
We have chosen to assist cataract procedures in Juarez because:
Our plans for the Juarez program is together with USMC to facilitate up to 1000 cataracts a year and to expand into retinal diseases. We also hope to establish a permanent surgical staff at ConVision.