We are also pursuing globally roll-out of additional optometry sub-specialities such as a Low Vision Practitioners course in Sub-Saharan Africa, continuing Paediatric Refraction training across the regions and the Advocacy in Eye Health course, we have designed in collaboration with the World Council of Optometry to inform and guide professional associations.
Recently we welcomed the 25 optometry leaders, each from a different country, to join the third Advocacy for Eye Health course. This course is a collaboration between Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation and World Council of Optometry (WCO) to develop regional optometry advocates in the six WCO regions. Over the next few weeks participants will engage in interactive online modules and work with their assigned mentors from WCO to develop an implementable advocacy plan.
Some participants from previous courses have successfully implemented their advocacy strategies in the fields of child eye health, integration of optometry in to health systems and eye care for people with diabetes. A participant from 2018, had this to say about the program: “Take my words – the course is going to take you through metamorphosis – a paradigm shift in your thinking and approach towards eye health.”
A capacity building course for Low Vision Practitioners in Sub-Saharan Africa is underway with participants from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda currently undertaking initial training in Durban, before embarking on a three-month clinical placement at the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India. The primary aim of the program is to develop a faculty of low vision educators and support on-going practitioner development for Sub-Saharan Africa, funded by a Seeing is Believing grant from Standard Chartered Bank.