May 2021 Newsletter
This month President Twelker reflects on Healthy Vision month and considers the importance of a comprehensive dilated eye exam. We welcome a new SVOSH chapter in Peru, encourage VOSHers to become fellows of VOSH/international, provide an updated program for our midyear meeting, plus share an article by SVOSH-UNLP-Argentina on women’s health and highlight some interesting webinars and publications. Enjoy and share with your members!
President's Insights
May is Healthy Vision Month which is part of the Vision Health Initiative directed by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is promoting a comprehensive dilated eye exam to check for common vision and eye problems. Read the whole article here.
New SVOSH Chapter in Peru
We congratulate our colleagues at the Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal (UNFV) on the establishment of a SVOSH chapter and welcome them to the VOSH/international family.

Think about applying for the Franklin Harms Society and the Fellowship of VOSH/International (FVI) this year!
The Franklin Harms Award was established in 2013 in honor of Dr. Franklin Harms, the founder of VOSH in 1972. This award recognizes members who have participated on 10 or more International or Domestic VOSH missions. Today we have 107 FHA members! The Society is open to all international and US VOSH members. If you want to become member of the society, complete this application form

The Fellowship of VOSH/International (FVI) was established in 2003. This program recognizes the skills and expertise of VOSH members to advise and consult on matters of preventable blindness. Becoming a Fellow is a process involving a life time of providing vision care. To date we have 43 FVI members. If interested complete the application form before August 31. If you have any questions please contact Ann Slocum Edmonds, OD at  
A reflection from our SVOSH chapter in Argentina
The faculty adviser of our SVOSH chapter at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Argentina, Laura Brussi, shares her thoughts on women's health in this article available in English and Spanish. Read the article here
Join us for the midyear meeting
June 19 and 27
Register for both sessions
Our June meeting will be a unique event for learning and sharing. We will offer 3 COPE qualified courses and 8 sessions focused on countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region. You can find more information on the program and registration for both days here.

Register and be part of this initiative!
Progression of Myopia in School-Aged Children After COVID-19 Home Confinement
The COVID-19 pandemic may have increased the prevalence of myopia by confining young children indoors, researchers say. In this cross-sectional study that included 194 904 photoscreening tests conducted in 123 535 Chinese children, a substantial myopic shift (−0.3 diopters) was noted after home confinement due to coronavirus disease 2019 for children aged 6 to 8 years. The prevalence of myopia increased 1.4 to 3 times in 2020 compared with the previous 5 years. The paper can be found here.

An article in Spanish on this paper can be found here.
¿Por qué la defensa de la salud visual es importante para la educación infantil en las américas?
Judith Williams, Vision Impact Institute Manager for the Americas highlights the importance of advocating for children’s eye health. Judith argues that in Latin America in spite of the efforts by NGOs and other stakeholders, children’s visual impairment is not yet properly addressed. This challenge is compounded by the impacts of COVID in the region. Read the whole article here.
All about myopia
The International Myopia Institute has released a new group of white papers which confirm the imperative to control myopia and offers a range of guidance in the field. The papers make up a special issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 

You can access the papers here
Webinars and online training

Cybersight offers free, live online training events for eye health professionals.

Orbis International founded Cybersight as a not-for-profit telemedicine initiative to help mitigate the shortage of skilled eye health professionals in low- and middle-income countries. Its goal is to increase the capacity of eye health professionals and health systems to treat and prevent blindness and visual impairment. Expert international faculty discuss comprehensive ophthalmology topics, with live audio and video. The sessions are recorded and available at Cybersight Library.
More information at
WCO webinar on “Dry Eye: The New Frontier” 
On Wednesday, June 16, join five expert panelists via Zoom from 6:00-7:30 a.m. US CDT for this webinar presented by WCO and supported by Alcon. 

Register here.
Monthly observances
Myopia awareness week

Myopia Awareness Week, May 24-28, 2021 is a global initiative aimed to bring attention to the growing epidemic of myopia in children across the world.

Led by the Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI), the week focuses on sending key awareness raising messages and resources for parents and eye care professionals. Social media toolkits, guidelines, and news are available on the BHVI website at
US Ultraviolet Awareness month

Extended exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause damage to the eyes, This month Prevent Blindness seeks to educate the public on the increased risk of everything from “corneal sunburns” (photokeratitis) to diseases such as cataract and eye cancers. A variety of free resources on UV protection to keep vision healthy, are available here.
In memory of
Mexican optometry sadly lost three icons of the profession: Mtro Julio Torres Fuentes, Dr. Jose Luis Chessal Rivero and Mtro Lucio Aleman Rodriguez.
Hassan Minto from Pakistan, a global champion of low vision and children's vision. A good friend and colleague who will be missed. Read the tribute here.