A VISIT to the doctor has been an eye-opener literally for some people of Vanua Levu with the visit by a team of United States doctors.
More than 5000 people have descended on the Natuvu Creek Mission Medical Centre for treatment.
The free eye clinic and surgeries which started this week has seen people travel from as far as Bua and Taveuni to Buca Bay, Cakaudrove, a three-hour drive from Savusavu Town.
Yesterday, villagers of Vunikura, Tunuloa, Nawi and Natewa were preparing for the opportunity of a lifetime free checks and surgery.
Women of Vunikura Village only praised the team, led by clinic co-founder Doctor Tom Tooma, and labelled the free clinic as a blessing from above.
Ema Tua, a villager, said travelling to Savusavu or Labasa Hospital cost too much and waiting almost a day to get their eyes examined was even worse.
So having the free eye clinic near their villages was a golden opportunity villagers made good use of.
Villagers in Nawi, Dakuniba and Vunikura provided accommodation to relatives travelling from Taveuni and distant villages.
Nawi Village headman Waisea Vuibau said villagers visited the clinic in large numbers after being told about it.
He said villagers left their homes as early as 5am for the one-hour walk to the clinic. Mr Vuibau said villagers, including the elderly, did not mind waiting for the clinic to open.
The team will also conduct plastic and general surgery.
The eye clinic ends this Friday.