VOSH Hosts Free Vision Clinic Providing Quality Eyecare

VOSH volunteers provide free, quality eye care around the globe, based on assessment of need, local access to quality care and local support.In doing so, VOSH builds strong relationships with local governments, health and eye care providers and provide opportunities to educate local educators and professionals, focusing on the development of sustainable clinics.

Our volunteers are licensed optometrists, opticians, health care providers and lay people. There are clinic trips both domestically as well as internationally, in over 30 countries, serving hundreds of thousands of patients.

VOSH Provides Optometric Equipment to Clinics and Locales In Need

The VOSH Technology Transfer Program (TTP) collects, restores and ships used optometric equipment, lenses and frames to needy clinics, teaching institutions, hospitals and NGOs where it can lead a new purpose and change lives. This vital service enables developing clinics and optometric programs to obtain necessary equipment to treat their local communities and train local optometrists to provide quality eyecare.

Promoting Optometric Education

One of the greatest impediments to the education of optometrists in developing countries is the lack of local optometry schools and the optometric educators to teach in these institutions.

As a solution to this global issue, VOSH is growing a new generation of optometrists in developing nations. In collaboration with other eye health care leaders, VOSH/International, has developed three initiatives to build optometric education worldwide: The VOSH Corps Program,  the Ambassador Program and the Mentorship Program. We invite North American ODs to serve in emerging optometric institutions as faculty and program development assistants, on either a long term (1-2 years) or a short term (minimum of 1 week) basis or to partner with international SVOSH chapters. The goal is that the education is carried on by the local students and optometrists who then teach and train others in their community. These are fantastic opportunities for those just entering the profession; those who are transitioning to retirement; or those looking for a new adventure.

Updated COVID-19 and VOSH Humanitarian Clinics Advice

Due to an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 infections, a new variant that is more contagious, and these being early days in the vaccination distribution, VOSH/International DOES NOT recommend that chapters participate in domestic or international eye and vision clinics at this time.

We reiterate that at a time when the coronavirus continues to spread quickly in many parts of the world and vaccinations are not yet available to local populations, the risk of close contact with patients in a crowded outpatient environment remains high.

If a VOSH Chapter or VOSH volunteer chooses to hold a clinic against our best guidance, this is done at your own risk, by your own decision and should be in line with current local/national government rules.  VOSH/International would like to reiterate that safety for VOSH volunteers and our patients is of utmost importance and central to any decision-making process.

We have published our updated clinic guidelines with best practices to be observed in this new context.  You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here

Also please keep checking the following sites with official and most recent updates:

World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

US CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/when-to-delay-travel.html

US Government Travel Advise: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html

Thank you for your patience in these unprecedented times, hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.

John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

January 2021