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Penn students help launch eye care center in Liberia

Two graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania have helped launch the New Sight Eye Center, a clinic that will help improve eye care in Liberia. Jessica DiVanno and Jake Graffe, both pre-med students in the College of LIberal and Professional Studies, have created this center in order to remedy the limited opthalmic resources that currently exist in Liberia. The majority of eye conditions seen in the region are treatable, but usually lead to blindness due to inadequate access to proper treatment. As a result, The New Sight Eye Center will provide free eye health services that would otherwise not be available. The center began operating a few weeks ago, and is now trying to recruit more eye care professionals and financial support. As part of their fundraising plan, DiVanno and Graffe have pledged to contribute one hour of community service for every  $100 in donations that they receive. Hopefully, the center will eventually be approved as an official eye clinic under Unite for Sight, a nonprofit health organization that has established many permanent eye clinics worldwide. If this is achieved, than the New Sight Eye Center can received full funding from the organization. This upcoming summer, DiVanno and Graffe will travel to the New Sight Eye Center and continue their efforts, working with other volunteers to improve the lives of many disadvantaged individuals. -- Brian D. Krawitz University of Pennsylvania

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