Since the establishment of Sight For All in 2009, a range of optometric focused projects have been coordinated in partner countries. This has included:
Clinical Upskilling of Refractionists to Deliver Comprehensive Eye Care Project, Myanmar 2017-2019
This project, supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program involved upskilling nine refractionists from five teaching hospitals in Myanmar to diagnose and treat patients with ophthalmic diseases. The project ultimately built the capacity of the five teaching institutions and continues to have a profound impact on the country’s eye health.
Low Vision Training Courses
In conjunction with See Differently by the Royal Society for the Blind and the South Australian School for Vision Impaired, Sight For All has supported paediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists to undertake month long low vision courses in Adelaide, Australia. To date the ophthalmologists and optometrists have represented Cambodia, Myanmar and Ethiopia. Upon returning to their home countries, the ophthalmologists and optometrists have the skills and knowledge to establish their own low vision services within their local communities, providing sustainable support to people experiencing low vision.
Throughout 2014, a team of Sight For All optometrists trained a Vietnamese optometrists in the fitting of contact lenses. The training was undertaken at the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology and allowed contact lenses to be fitted to infants who have had cataracts removed, yet would have remained blind without specialised attention. To conduct this training, a team of Sight For All optometrists travelled to Hanoi from Australia on a bi-monthly basis over the course of a twelve month period.
“I spent a week at the VNIO in Hanoi training a small team to fit specialty contact lenses. There are some conditions in which contact lenses are the best and sometimes the only option, so during the week I was there, I was lucky enough to witness some with reduced sight see clearly again and even lucky enough to see some babies see for the first time. Each experience was touching, however not as much so as knowing that this team of dedicated individuals will continue to provide sight for many more to come. Words can’t describe how lucky and proud I feel to have contributed. ”
Ms Jessica Chi, Victoria, Sight For All Lead Visionary, Optometry