Whilst attending for treatment at the Lagoa Centro de Saude last year optometrist Roy Carpenter observed hard working staff hampered by lack of equipment and materials, resulting in low morale.
He donated a spare ophthalmic microscope which enables people with eye problems to be diagnosed locally and avoid the journey and waiting time at the Hospital Barlavento, and also suggested to the Lodge of Peace and Harmony in Lagoa that a donation towards new equipment would be appropriate.
This was approved, 6 new sphygmomanometers for measuring blood pressure were provided, and the Masons hope to provide more help in the future.
Local health centres in the Algarve, and elsewhere in Portugal, often involve poor working conditions and shortages of basic materials such as bandages, butterfly sutures and even basic stocking assist gadgets to help elderly people put on their sock and stockings. This is in addition to more expensive equipment such as a Doppler instrument for detecting blood clots.
Lagoa Centro de Saude now can offer an improved service due to the thoughtfulness of one long-term expatriate whose training and experience as an optometrist enabled him to spot the type of equipment that would make a difference, and whose membership of the Lagoa Lodge has helped ensure that a substantial donation of equipment has been made.