We have something exciting happening at VOSH. Michel Listenberger, OD, FVI and VOSH Historian is writing a book, “Bringing the World into Focus – A History of VOSH”. The origin of the book came about when Michel assumed the role of VOSH historian. As he sorted through the VOSH archives, read past newsletters, legal documents and stories that have been handed down through the years, the importance of preserving this part of VOSH history became apparent. Michel, a published author, brought the proposal of a VOSH history book to the board and we are happy to see this project develop. Why is this exciting? It’s important to know who we are and part of that is where we’ve come from. Many dedicated people have moved VOSH along so that is has become the wonderful international NGO that is it. The beauty of the book is that Michel has been able to interview many of the past presidents and board members. The book chronicles the origins and advancements of VOSH over the last several decades. Want to find out more about VOSH’s expansion into Africa, our TTP (Technology Transfer Program), chapter growth, and read funny, entertaining and emotional VOSH stories? All this will be in the 150-200 page history of VOSH book. You are invited to make a donation of any amount to support the upcoming book written by noted author and fellow VOSHer, Dr. Michel Listenberger. Donations are tax deductible. If you’re generous enough to donate $1,000 by April 15, 2016 your name will be “credited” in the front of the book.

Ellen L. Weiss, OD, FVI, President

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