August 2020 newsletter
In August we pay our respects to Dr Harry I. Zeltzer, a great humanitarian who transformed VOSH/International, announce a great collaboration with Everyone for Veterans, encourage you to register for our virtual Annual Meeting and send nominations to our awards, highlight IAPB’s photo competition, stand in solidarity with our Lebanese colleagues and much more.
President's Insights
This month we lost a giant of a human. Dr. Harry I. Zeltzer, who served as VOSH/International President 2001-2003 and was its first Executive Director between 2003 and 2013 was a humanitarian in every sense. In fact, he was awarded the Essilor-UNESCO Humanitarian Award in 2003 and the VOSH/International Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 among other recognitions during his life. Read the whole article here.
Farewell to a friend -Harry I. Zeltzer, OD
It is with great sadness that we communicate the passing of Harry I. Zeltzer, OD, DOS, FAAO, FVI. Harry represented the ideals and values that VOSH/International stands for and has and will continue to be a source of inspiration to make quality eye health accessible by all. Read the full homage here and can leave your memories of Harry in this page.
This is your chance to support US combat veterans in need
Announcing the collaboration with Everyone for Veterans
VOSH/International (V/I) is delighted to announce that it will collaborate with Everyone for Veterans (E4V) to facilitate access to eye health care to qualifying US returnee combat veterans.
E4V ( works through volunteer dentists around the country offering pro-bono dental care to qualifying veterans who are not covered by existing medical assistance or live too far from a VA facility and cannot afford to get there. Since its establishment, E4V has worked with almost 500 dentists from 30 states providing needed dental care to low income combat veterans and their families. This support can make a significant difference to these veterans’ lives. Read more details on how to join here
World Health Assembly adopts Integrated people-centred eye care (IPEC) Resolution
On August 4th, countries adopted a new resolution on Integrated People's Eye Care (IPEC) in an effort to reach the 1 billion people worldwide who are living with blindness or a vision impairment because they do not have access to basic services as simple as a pair of glasses. The resolution cements the World Health Organization’s global strategy on vision set out in its ‘World Report on Vision’ and marks the next major milestone for global eye health. Adopted by the 194 Member States of the WHO, the resolution asks the WHO Director-General to increase support to countries in implementing the recommendations of the World Report on Vision; support the creation of a global research agenda for eye health; and to work with Member States to develop global targets on eye health for 2030 at the 74th World Health Assembly in 2021. Read the resolution here and IAPB’s coverage here 
World Sight Day Photo Competition #HopeInSight
IAPB is inviting amateur and professional photographers to submit their eye care photos and have the chance at winning USD 1000 (Professional) and a DSLR (Amateur). There is also a sub-category called COVID-19 photos. Details can be found here: Deadline is World Sight Day (8 October 2020). 

Do not miss the chance to enter your winning photos!!
Do not forget to make your nominations for the VOSH/International Awards
This is a reminder to all VOSH chapters that we are receiving nominations for our prestigious awards.
The information on the nominations are in the links below:

For more information please contact Neelam Patadia, OD, Secretary VOSH/International Board of Directors at
Memoires of an optometrist by Dr Abraham Bromberg 
Dr Bromberg’s autobiographical account takes the reader over 56 years of key events and successes that marked the development of optometry in Mexico. A highly recognised and key leader in Mexican optometry, Dr Bromberg has tirelessly supported the education, research and recognition of optometry in Mexico. This is recommended reading for all VOSHers who share a passion for Mexico.
Downloadable English version here

Downloadable Spanish version here
Monthly observances
World Humanitarian Day

Every August 19th, the world commemorates humanitarian workers killed and injured during their work, and we honour all aid and health workers who continue, despite the odds, to provide life-saving support and protection to people most in need. This year the campaign #RealLifeHeroes pays tribute to the real-life heroes who have committed their lives to helping others in the most extreme circumstances throughout the world.

Thank you to all VOSH/International volunteers who have committed to providing eye health care to those who need it. More information here
CDC Contact Lens Health Week
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with partners, is promoting the seventh annual Contact Lens Health Week August 17-21, 2020. This year’s campaign theme, “Road to 2020 Vision begins with Contact Lens Health,” emphasizes the importance of healthy contact lens hygiene practices in protecting against serious eye infections and other illnesses. Now more than ever, it’s important to wash your hands before handling your contact lenses. For more information, a campaign promotion toolkitfree posters, and other resources for promoting healthy contact lens wear and care throughout the year, visit
Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH) has released an updated version of the report titled “Children’s Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues 2nd Edition.” The report includes national prevalence rates for vision conditions (amblyopia, strabismus, astigmatism, myopia, hyperopia, etc.) broke down by age and ethnic groups, early detection of vision disorders, vision screening, special considerations for children with special health care needs, national and federal guidance around children’s vision and eye health and much more. A comprehensive press release is found here.
Let us support Lebanese Optometrists rebuild their office
On August 4th there was a horrific explosion in Beirut, Lebanon that destroyed everything in the surrounding kilometres around. The offices of the Syndicate of Opticians and Optometrists of Lebanon (SOOLB) located in this area were severely affected. See pictures. Our Lebanese colleagues need support to repair their offices and replace the office equipment damaged in the blast. If you want to help, please send a donation indicating it is for Lebanon. We are aiming to raise $1,500 by the end of September. Thanks for your solidarity.

In hard times optometrists stand together wherever they are.
This will be our first virtual Annual Meeting. Do not miss it!

We would like to encourage our US VOSH chapters and US partners to pay the registration fee using Zelle if possible. To do this, please visit and follow the steps.  The registration fee should be sent to our Treasurer at The code to register to our meeting when paying by Zelle is VOSH2020. This will save us resources. Thanks a lot for the extra step.