One week teaching opportunity!

VOSH is pleased to be a partner with the Asociacion Latinoamericana de Optometras y Opticos– ALDOO to collaborate with schools of optometry in Latin America.  ALDOO wants to encourage the schools to join and collaborate with VOSH.  

One initiative from the VOSH-ALDOO collaboration is to find Optometric Educators in the US and other countries to volunteer to do one full week of lectures/workshops at the schools that form SVOSH chapters in Latin America.  We have had a few of these collaborations this past year that that have had excellent success.

Several Latin American schools have expressed interest in this program. The main areas of need of several schools that ALDOO has queried are Low Vision and pediatrics.  However, we anticipate anterior Segment, contact lenses, and disease will be very helpful in the future also.  A one week course may be designed as ~ 12 hours of lecture (mornings) and four 3-hour workshops (afternoons). 

Since this is a new program, we are very flexible on dates, just mindful of when it would be feasible for the volunteers.  The local schools provide room and board of the guest lecturer, as well as providing an interpreter, if needed. 

If interested, please contact VOSH Director Marcela Frazier, OD, MPH, FAAO at mgfrazier@uabmc.edu

 

Updated COVID-19 and VOSH Humanitarian Clinics Advice

VOSH/International recently consulted its US and International Chapters about the feasibility and timing to restart our humanitarian clinics. While the vaccination process continues with different levels of success depending on availability and acceptance, it is evident that vaccine inequity and the availability and reliability of data in several countries are issues we need to consider.

Even if already vaccinated, our chapters are still concerned about the wellbeing of our volunteers and patients.  Some chapters, are organizing clinics locally where they are better able to comply with the existing safety requirements and respective state/country regulations.

The COVID-19 pandemic is being experienced quite differently depending on state, region, country, vaccine availability, vaccine acceptance, and the spread of SARS-COV-2 variants. Most VOSH chapters are not holding clinics or traveling internationally in 2021.

Thus, VOSH/International is slightly moderating its overall guidance against clinics and travel issued in late March 2020 and renewed in January 2021. This will be reviewed and communicated on a quarterly basis.

If a VOSH Chapter choses to hold a clinic or travel internationally, we highly recommend that the chapter performs due diligence to comply fully with the requirements established by the visited country, ensures all VOSH volunteers are aware of and follow strict safety guidelines and all existing protocols and regulations of the country, and keeps the principle of “do no harm” embedded in all its decision making. As always, the wellbeing and 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. VOSH chapters in specific countries are using protocols that need to be considered as well. You can download VOSH/International clinic guidelines here.

*VOSH/International is formed by autonomous US and international chapters that are fully and only responsible for their activities, fundraising and decision-making.  VOSH/International can only provide recommendations based on our best knowledge and information at the time.

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 hard work and dedication to improving vision and eye health throughout the world.

John Daniel Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

July 2021