April 2021 Newsletter
This month we feature World Health Day and its significance for VOSH/International in the words of our President, congratulate VOSH-VA on moving forward with its local free clinic, share a great video for Volunteer Week featuring some of VOSH volunteers, couple of publications on access to glasses from different parts of the world, an invitation to an online symposium on myopia in Thailand and the preliminary program for our midyear meeting.  
Happy Volunteer Week to all VOSH volunteers!!!  

Click here to watch this great video featuring the voices of many VOSH volunteers from across the world.
President's Insights
World Health Day reminds us of the importance of building a fairer, healthier world for everyone by promoting gender, social, and health equality. This, of course, applies to visual and ophthalmic health. Read the whole article here.

News from our chapters

VOSH-Virginia getting ready to open a free eye clinic in Charlottesville, Virginia

Congratulations to our VOSH-Virginia chapter on achieving a great milestone towards offering regular free eye care to uninsured people in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is a lifelong dream of Drs Doug and Vicki Weiss that thanks to a generous donation of Dr Mangold and the coordination of Dr Stacy, chairperson of our TTP (Technology Transfer Program) Committee is getting closer to reality.

Read all about this great work here

News from our partners
World Council of Optometry and the standard of care for Myopia Management

A WCO resolution advising optometrists to incorporate a standard of care for myopia management within their practices has been approved. The resolution defines the evidence-based standard of care as comprising of three main components: mitigation, measurement and management. “Myopia is increasing at an alarming rate, as are the risks for vision impairment associated with the condition. With more than five billion people projected to be affected by myopia by 2050, the global optometric community must increase its efforts to combat this public health issue,” said Paul Folkesson, president, World Council of Optometry. Read the whole resolution here. Click on the links for Spanish and French versions.

Rangsit University's invitation to an International symposium on myopia and refractive error

Dr Jerry Vincent, OD faculty at the school of optometry at Rangsit University, Thailand and a good friend of VOSH, invites interested VOSH members and partners to this international symposium to be held on April 29th between 1-4pm Thailand time (for reference 11pm PST). Registration is free. To sign up use the scan code in the poster and fill the whole short form. In the field for license number put 0.

You can download the poster here to register using the QR code.

Vision 2020 US interviews on telehealth

A series of interviews with key thought leaders in the telehealth field in the United States and globally are available to watch at Vision 2020 US YouTube channel.  You can watch the videos here.

Advocacy for Action online learning program

Advocacy to Action is aimed to train and inspire eye health advocates around the world. The six-part series will support eye health advocates to understand the policy context; actively engage in advocacy; and substantiate the need for integrated action, to effect the change needed for ‘eye health for all’.
More information about the programme and registration for the events in this link.
Interesting publications
Parent’s willingness to pay for spectacles in Cambodia

This study focused on determining the willingness of parents/guardians to pay for children’s spectacles, and barriers to purchasing children’s spectacles in Cambodia. The findings indicate that almost half of parents/guardians interviewed were unwilling to pay the current average market price for spectacles. Including children’s spectacles in universal health coverage packages in Cambodia may help children unlock their full potential because of the positive role of good eye health on educational attainment and well-being. Read the whole paper here
Barriers and facilitators to obtaining eyeglasses for vulnerable patients in a Michigan free clinic.

This study featured in the AAO’s Journal of Optometry and Vision Science on low-income patients older than 18 years of age identified that top barriers to using eyeglasses were cost and limited access to vision care. You can read the abstract here

Monthly observances
US Women’s eye health and safety month

According to the US National Eye Institute two out of every three people living with blindness or vision problems are women. The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems study shows that women are at higher risk for certain eye diseases and conditions including AMD, cataract, dry eye and glaucoma among others. Globally, the World Health Organization’s World Report on Vision, highlights that women, are at greater risk of developing eye conditions associated with ageing and they outnumber men by circa 7% with moderate and severe presenting distance vision impairment. Read the full PB press release here and check a relevant video here.
Our own Valeria Tran, OD has also prepared a blog on the occasion to be featured in our website.. 

World Health Day

World Health Day 2021 marks the start of WHO’s year-long campaign to place health equity centre stage of world attention. The cost of COVID-19 is so high that it demands commitment to building a fairer and healthier world by taking health equity much more seriously than before – and address the social and economic factors that cause health inequities. The campaign highlights the several forms in which health inequity manifests itself and what can the health sector do about it. Read more in this background document.
Our midyear meeting is coming
Registration opens on May 1st
This year’s midyear meeting will be held online in two separate sessions on June 19th and 27th respectively. Both sessions will promote the interaction between our US and international chapters, increase our understanding of the dynamics of eye health care in selected countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region and offer COPE accredited courses.

Registration is free but we will welcome donations from our US/Canadian colleagues. 

A preliminary programme for the meeting is here.

A separate invitation will be sent on May 1st to start registration.