Wed, 09 Mar 2005

Tsunami survivors get free glasses

JAKARTA: Hundreds of tsunami survivors in Aceh line up each day to receive free eyeglasses from members of the U.S. naval ship, USNS Mercy.

The patients are examined and given their glasses at Zainoel Abidin Hospital in Banda Aceh.

Patients came from as far away as Sigli, some 112 kilometers from Banda Aceh, on Tuesday. They began lining up early in the morning. One woman said she had been waiting for three days to get a pair of glasses.

A staffer at USNS Mercy, Rob Dobbins, said they were handing out about 180 pairs of free eyeglasses every day.

The U.S. naval craft began its humanitarian relief work in the area on Jan. 26. -- Antara