February 2021 newsletter
This month we focus on glaucoma and its relevance, share updates on several activities led by our committees, invite you to free webinars on website content management and glaucoma, feature a couple of monthly observances, highlight a couple of key publications you cannot miss and encourage you to nominate your chapter as Chapter of the Month.
President's Insights

President Twelker reflects on the challenge of detecting and diagnosing glaucoma in low income countries and what can optometrists do. Glaucoma affects all countries across the world, however many of those do not allow optometrists to diagnose or treat glaucoma. Some of the populations at higher risk of glaucoma are also those economically disadvantaged and without access to health care. Read the whole article here.
Our first Ambassador’s session of the year
On January25th, Michael Ciszek, OD FVI, Dipl ABO held a lecture on Hybrid Lenses in Spanish for the students of the school of optometry at the Universidad de El Salvador in co-ordination with the faculty adviser of this SVOSH chapter. The recording will be available soon for our Latin American colleagues interested in this topic.  Thank you Dr Ciszek and Liliana Alfaro for making this possible.

VOSH/International Ambassadors Program promotes the sharing of optometric knowledge and expertise of ODs with international VOSH and SVOSH chapters for short period of time. The Program has great plans for this year. Watch the space. 
VOSH Chapters Relations news

Last December 2020, our VOSH Chapter Relations Committee called for chapters to help us update our contacts database and offered a portable phoropter to the chapter with most entries. Thanks to VOSH-AZ for helping us with this exercise.

On receiving the prize, Caitlin Miller, OD, President of VOSH-Arizona said “VOSH-AZ is very excited to be the recipient of the EyeNetra Phoropter! It is light and easily portable. It will allow us to provide quality refractions and excellent care to our patients on international missions.”  
Although our humanitarian clinics are on hold, all VOSH chapters have important past work to feel proud of. Let us celebrate your past achievements. Nominate your chapter as Chapter of the Month. The nomination form is here or contact Vicki Weiss, OD, co-chair of VOSH Chapter Relations, vickiweiss@vosh.org
Save the date for a website content management webinar
Do you want to improve your website content management skills?
Did you know that your chapter could get a VOSH clone website?
Join us in a free webinar next Monday March 8th at 6:00 PM (CST)
Hosted by KreativElement and open to all VOSH/International chapters.
Register here
Agenda includes:
  • Basics of website content management and the WordPress Dashboard
  • How to create a calendar and a blog
  • Working with photos
  • Creating and managing sliders Questions? please contact Natalie Venezia venezia@vosh.org
News from our partners
World Glaucoma Week
The Focus on Glaucoma initiative will take place from 7-13 March 2021. Organised by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). This initiative offers a series of free webinars covering the impact of glaucoma in different regions across the world. Please visit this page and register for the webinars.

More details on the webinars here

Myopia and Myopia Management webinar hosted by the World Council of Optometry (WCO)

Last January 27th a webinar on myopia management was hosted by WCO bringing a number of experts in this field. You can watch the webinar here
A couple of key publications
This key publication highlights that 1.1 billion people on our planet experience sight loss because they do not have access to eye health care services, 90% of sight loss could be avoided, sight loss costs the global economy $411 billion per year in productivity losses and that those with poor eye health have a 2.6 times increased risk of mortality. Preventing sight loss is essential to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as access to quality eye health care enables children and adults to benefit from education, maintain employment and actively participate in community life.
This is essential reading. Download the report here
More information on the Commission here
The Toolkit for Glaucoma Management in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Toolkit for Glaucoma Management in Sub-Saharan Africa is a dynamic toolkit, developed and owned by African eye care professionals and glaucoma specialists, to guide ophthalmologists, glaucoma specialists and glaucoma care team members -including optometrists- and programme planners to set up integrated glaucoma care services adapted to their very own context and to strengthen the health systems sustainably.
Download the report here
Monthly observances
US AMD Awareness Month

Bausch + Lomb and Prevent Blindness are launching a year-long video series to raise awareness of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of vision loss in adults 50 years of age and older. The series will feature the personal stories of people who have AMD and the strategies they have for living a healthy lifestyle. Check this website for more information.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
This year’s celebration focused on "Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19”. Women researchers have been actively involved in advancing the knowledge and developing the vaccine against the virus. However, for many, particularly those at early-career stages, the negative impacts would contribute to widening the existing gender gap in science, and the gender disparities in the scientific system. More information here