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August 2021 Newsletter

President's Insights

Most countries of the world suffer from a lack of quality standards for eye care. In many countries the profession of optometry does not exist or is not recognised. When I travel to countries where the profession of optometry is developing, I often get the question, “What is optometry? What does an optometrist do?” It might surprise you that I get this question from optometry students but… Read the full article here

After more than a year of virtual meetings, our Annual Meeting will be held in a hybrid format this year on Saturday October 16th.  The event will be COPE accredited. Those attending in person will be welcomed at the renowned Illinois College of Optometry (ICO). The event will be available online in its entirety. We will be following the current state and ICO’s COVID guidelines to ensure our hosts and participants are safe at all times.


This year’s theme is “Building resilience and embracing change”. It intends to recognize how as individuals, as a society, as a profession and as an organization, we have navigated a period of great uncertainty and change and become stronger in our commitment and motivation to offer better and more sustainable patient’s care in all countries we visit and where VOSH has presence. 

We are honoured to have the support of National Vision Inc as Visionary Sponsor of the event.

You can find more information here

Register here

In solidarity with Haiti


On August 14th, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Haiti. The quake could not have come at worst time for Haiti, which is still reeling from the assassination of President Moïse and escalating gang violence. The situation is dire with more than 2,200 deaths and more than 12,000 people injured. The quake was later compounded with heavy rains from tropical storm Grace. Thousands are homeless and in need of urgent assistance.

VOSH/International and VOSH-PA in collaboration with Robin Chalmers, OD and her colleagues at Medshare and Partners 4 New Hope were able to send three boxes of essential medical supplies and made a contribution to VOSH-PA partners, the New Hope Hospital, where injured people are airlifted to hospital by air ambulance for treatment. Dr Eugène Maklin, director of the hospital and his team are doing everything they can to help the injured there. 

Our colleagues at the School of Optometry of the Université d’Etat d’Haïti are doing well in spite of the circumstances. Sadly, some students’ families have been affected by the quake. The SVOSH chapter there are donating blood to help the injured. VOSH/International is in contact with the school to support them in these hard times. 

Nominations for VOSH/International Awards

Humanitarian of the Year Award

The humanitarian clinics could not take place as usual but your work continued. During this time, the leadership and commitment of your members kept your activities going innovating along the way. This year we would like to recognize a VOSH member who has made a difference in such challenging times. Please consider nominating a member of your chapter to the Humanitarian of the Year Award using this form by September 17th.

Lifetime Achievement Award


The recognition of an exceptional individual who has offered a lifetime of commitment to improve vision and eye health care will have additional meaning this year. Past recipients can be found here. Consider nominating a deserving individual using this form by September 17th.

In preparation for future clinics

VOSH Southeast has a large stock of frames for clinics in the U.S and abroad. Assorted metal, plastic, semi-rimless and pediatric frames are available for the cost of shipping and $2.00 per box. The adult boxes are 250-400 and the children’s frames are in boxes of 100.

To order and further details email

OD volunteers needed

VOSH Michigan is looking for Optometrists to participate in their 2022 clinic to Bahati and Naivasha, Kenya. They will be leaving April 1, 2022 returning April 15. The trip is hosted by Rotary Clubs in Kenya. The in-country cost will be $4500 plus your air fare. If interested contact Dr Nelson Edwards or call 517-518-4505 for details.



1st International Congress on Community eye health work.

El Primer Congreso Internacional de Trabajo Comunitario en Salud Visual organizado por la carrera de optometría de la Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México tendrá lugar el 3 de septiembre. El presidente y la directora ejecutiva de VOSH/International presentaran en el evento apoyando a nuestro capitulo SVOSH. El programa se encuentra aquí y será trasmitido via FB Inscribase aqui.

The 1st International Congress on Community Eye Health Work organised by the School of Optometry at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico Iztacala will be held on September 3rd online. VOSH/International President and Executive Director will make presentations during the event. The program is here The event is in Spanish and your can register here.


The Optometry Giving Sight 2021 Challenge

This year’s World Sight Day theme is Love Your Eyes. We believe there is no better way to show love for others around the world than to help to ensure they can see—a brighter future for themselves and their families.

OGS is a key and valued supporter of VOSH/International.

Please support WSD Challenge this year. More information here

Webinars to launch of Essilor's new 2.5 NVG Ready2Clip™ Generation II for Children. 

Learn more about this easy-to-assemble & cost-effective range suitable for universal use.

For attendees of Africa, Asia & Europe, September 8th, 5pm Singapore time.  Register here

For attendees in the Americas, September 9th, 9pm Singapore time webinar Register here

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Videos of Prevent Blindness Summit

Prevent Blindness, the oldest volunteer eye health and safety patient advocacy organization in the United States, recently held its 10th annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit. The two-day July meeting was full of information. If you missed it, you can view the videos of all the presentations here


Keeping an eye on eye care: monitoring progress towards effective coverage

This paper published in Lancet Global Health provides further details on the development of the ambitious global eye health targets (cataract and refractive error eye care indicators) recently endorsed by WHO Member States at the 74th World Health Assembly in May, 2021. The authors explain that these two indicators were selected as they serve as a reasonable proxy for the overall status of eye care services, can provide information on different segments of the population, are based on cost-effective interventions, are likely to reflect health system factors and are feasibly monitored in many countries. Read the whole article here.

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