July 2021 Newsletter
This month we share the account of President’s Twelker visit to the Haiti School of Optometry, a brief overview of our successful midyear meeting, an article about research and collaboration between VOSH/International and ALDOO, a couple of interesting publications by VOSH members and partners, news of the first UN resolution on eye health, and much more.
President's Insights
President Twelker visit to the Haiti and Dominican Republic schools of optometry was cut short by recent tragic events in Haiti. In spite of this, he lectured, met the students and Haitian team.

Read a full account of his trip and impressions here
Our Midyear meeting was a success
This year our Midyear meeting took place on two separate dates: June 19th and 27th via Zoom. Two hundred and thirty-five different participants registered to the events with an average attendance of 65 attendants per session. 70% of the participants identified as members of either a VOSH or a SVOSH chapter, 20% were partners and 10% individuals. Participants represented 18 different countries namely Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, India, Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Trinidad & Tobago, Thailand, South Africa, Venezuela and the USA. Twenty US VOSH and SVOSH chapters were represented. We were delighted to welcome 8 Haitian third year optometry students. Read the full article here
Collaboration through research
Emiliano Terán, faculty adviser of our SVOSH chapter at the Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa and co-chair of ALDOO's education committee writes about the power of collaboration to support research in Latin America. Read the article in Spanish here and the English version here
Optometric Education
The Journal of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
Utilization Survey of the First Two Cohorts of Optometry Graduates from the University of Medicine Pham Ngoc Thach in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Robert E. Molter, Jr., OD, FAAO, Jeffrey L. Weaver, OD, MS, FAAO, and W. Howard McAlister, OD, MA, MPH, FAAO
This study led by known VOSH volunteers explores what the first two graduating classes of optometrists at the University of Medicine Pham Ngoc Thach (UPNT) in Vietnam have experienced working within the Vietnamese health system. Overall, graduates are not fulfilling the role of providing independent comprehensive eye examinations. Graduates are hindered in development by lack of a national optometry law and lack of understanding about optometrists’ capabilities, both within the public health system and among the general population. The result is that the graduates feel less fulfilled. Adoption of a job code for optometrists is needed to improve optometric services and professional satisfaction. Read the full paper here

System Dynamics Simulation of the Eyecare Workforce Needs in the Dominican Republic
Héctor C. Santiago, OD, PhD, FAAO
The prediction of needs in the eyecare workforce is critical for the development of professional education institutions. Using a specialised software, the optometric and ophthalmologic workforce in the Dominican Republic was modelled. The model showed that the optometry profession will saturate after 15 years if practitioners without university education continue to practice. Legislation must be enacted to reduce empiricism and the optometry program must expand the scope of optometric education. Read the full paper here
La importancia de la evidencia en la salud visual.
Judith Marcano Williams, Program Manager Americas, Vision Impact Institute writes about the importance of evidence for visual health. The article highlights key sources of evidence published recently that articulate the case for investing and acting on providing eye health and visual care as a way to address several socially and development relevant challenges. Read this article in Spanish here.
UN Resolution on Vision is passed unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly
The resolution “Vision for Everyone; accelerating action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” was adopted unanimously by 193 member nations committing the international community to eye health for the 1.1 billion people living with preventable sight loss by 2030.

This resolution is a watershed moment and at VOSH/International we need to internalize this achievement and use it to guide our work. Read more here
World Sight Day #LoveYourEyes
This year, World Sight Day 2021 will be celebrated on October 14th with the theme: #LoveYourEyes. The Everyone Counts initiative seeks everyone who is able to book a sight test, an exam, or a screening to check on their wellbeing of their eyes. Starting in September, IAPB is trying to get over 1 million eye tests pledged in the month leading up to World Sight Day. More information and toolkits and resources in different languages are available here
We will be in touch soon to share ideas on how VOSH/International chapters could contribute to this initiative.
In memory of Tish Gibbs
VOSH-CT is saddened to inform of the passing of their cherished partner, Elizabeth Villa “Tish” Gibbs. Tish was the volunteer executive director of the Norwalk/Nagarote Sister City Project for more than 18 years. Since 2005, she worked with VOSH-CT, sponsoring a bus load of patients from Nagarote-mostly children-to reach the VOSH-CT clinic. The Blondins remember these patients leaving Nagarote in their old school bus well before dawn-and traveling for hours to get to the clinic, be finished around noon, and after an ice cream go off for an afternoon at the beach which was very exciting for all of them being from inland in the north. Tish and her colleagues made this possible. VOSH-CT feels honored to have known and worked with her.
Diplomado en Neuro Rehabilitación visual

La Fundación Universitaria del Área Andina en Colombia organiza un diplomado en Neuro-Rehabilitación Visual en formato remoto con prácticas presenciales (Colombia y México). Inscripciones abiertas hasta el 23 de agosto.

Mas información en www.areaandina.co.edu o contactar a cviolet@areandina.edu.co