Bruce Moore, OD, FAAO, Professor Emeritus, New England College of Optometry, USA

Yogita L. Rajgandhi

Tran Thi Kim Ngan

Jerry E. Vincent, OD, MPH, FAAO

Bruce Moore, OD, FAAO, Professor Emeritus, New England College of Optometry, USA

Dr. Moore has devoted his career to studying the vision problems and therapeutic options for young children. His career began at the Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Ophthalmology and the Harvard Medical School, where he practiced, taught, and carried out research for 22 years. In 1997 he became Marcus Professor of Pediatric Studies at the New England College of Optometry and served as a Department Chair for over a dozen years. His involvement in an array of clinical, research, and public policy efforts include being Co-Chair of the Children’s Vision Massachusetts Coalition and a member of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health. He has been working on a number of international vision care projects in Vietnam, Mongolia, Israel, Nicaragua, El Salvador, China, South Africa, Ghana and throughout Europe and leads VOSH/International Children’s Vision working group. He received the Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health from Prevent Blindness in 2016.

El Dr. Moore ha dedicado su carrera al estudio de los problemas visuales y las opciones terapéuticas para niños.  El comenzó su carrera en el departamento de oftalmología del hospital pediátrico de Boston y la escuela de medicina de Harvard donde ejerció, enseño e hizo investigación por 22 años. En 1997 se convirtió en profesor Marcus de estudios pediátricos del New England College of Optometry donde sirvió como director de departamento por más de doce años. El Dr. Moore ha estado involucrado en una serie de iniciativas clínicas, de investigación y de políticas públicas incluyendo haber sido el co-director de la Coalición sobre Visión Infantil de Massachusetts y como miembro del Centro Nacional para la Salud Ocular y Visión Infantil.  Ha trabajado en varios proyectos sobre el cuidado de la visión en Vietnam, Mongolia, Israel, Nicaragua, El Salvador, China, Sud África, Ghana y a través de Europa. Actualmente lidera el grupo de trabajo de visión infantil de VOSH/International.  El Dr. Moore recibió el premio de la excelencia en visión y salud publica Jenny Pomeroy de Prevent Blindness en el 2016.

Yogita L. Rajgandhi

Yogita L Rajgandhi is an Indian optometrist who has been teaching in Optometry Faculties affiliated with ITM, DY PATIL and SNDT University and as external examiner with several universities in India. She has published 52 articles and 69 national and international reports published in optometric, visual science and low vision publications and journals.

She has presented 28 research papers, has been interviewed more than 6 times on FM Radio by the University of Mumbai, is a life member of 7 National and 4 Internationals associations and has been invited 24 times as an external examiner. She was honored with 6 different fellowships from International organizations for her contributions towards the profession and research. She has received 64 awards and special mementos for her academic research work on visual impairment and her contribution towards community selfless work

Among the several recognitions received, she was one of the 4 finalists of the most inspirational working women Hunt for the year 2012 at national level on the occasion of International Women’s Day 8th March 2012 from Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, and also invited as Inspirational Optometrist on 8th March at Dr DY Patil University –Department of Optometry and visual Science-Pune ( Maharashtra). Yogita has been honored the BEST OPTOMETRIST AWARD FOR THE YEAR 2013-14 for her ethics, skills and academic knowledge at the National Conference – 36th All India Optometry Conference held at Agra in September 4-6 2014.

Yogita is the Managing Director of Rajgandhi Eye Care Institute and is a current board member of the Indian Optometric Association serving as a Joint Secretary.  She was ASCO-INDIA National Representative and the former head of the low vision center of the National Association for the Blind (Mumbai). She is the president of the VOSH/International affiliated VOSH-Maharashtra-India chapter since few years.

Tran Thi Kim Ngan

Ngan Tran is a Vietnamese optometrist who obtained her Bachelor of Optometry (Hons) degree at SeGi University, Malaysia in 2015.  Her interest in the eye health sector started in 2008.  She works as an optometrist and a lecturer at Pham Ngoc Thach University at Ho Chi Minh city and is a member of Optometry Vietnam.

Jerry E. Vincent, OD, MPH, FAAO

Jerry Vincent is a public health optometrist who has spent most of the past 25 years working in complex humanitarian emergencies. Based in Thailand he was the blindness prevention advisor for the International Rescue Committee where he provided technical support and oversight to IRC health programs world-wide. Dr Vincent is recognized as the leading authority in the provision of eye care in conflict, disaster and crisis affected populations. Jerry writes, speaks and lectures internationally, serves in advisory capacities to several international eye organizations and has had faculty affiliations with optometry schools on three different continents. He has won numerous awards including being named the International Optometrist of the Year by the World Council of Optometry in 2006.

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