VOSH Midyear Meeting 2020 Resources

The first online VOSH  Midyear Meeting took place on Saturday June 27, 2020. Our gratitude to all our presenters and participants in a day full of discussions and sharing.  The video recordings of the sessions are now available in Vimeo.

Our gratefulness to Bryan who helped us format the videos.

Session 1. “The WHO World Report on Vision and what it means for optometry” by Sandra Block, OD, M Ed, MPH, FAAO, FCOVD, FNAP.  https://vimeo.com/443864416

Session 2: “Review of VOSH/International Clinical Guidelines” by Dan Twelker, OD, PhD, FAAO, FVI. https://vimeo.com/443866616

Session 3: “Optometry in the Latin American region: challenges and opportunities” by Hector Santiago, OD, PhD, FAAO. https://vimeo.com/443868324

Session 4: “VOSH/International membership benefits and key programs” by Victoria Molnar Weiss, OD, FVAO, FVI https://vimeo.com/443870773

Session 5: Optometry development in Vietnam: an overview of progress” by Robert Molter, OD, FAAO.  https://vimeo.com/443872018

Session 6: Legal clinic for VOSH/International chapters” by John Gehrig, Esq, FVI

VOSH/International General Legal Counsel and Natalie Venezia, FVI Former Executive Director VOSH/International. https://vimeo.com/443873886 and https://vimeo.com/443874871

Session 7: “KEY TRAVEL: Travel management services for VOSH/International humanitarian clinics” by Kevin Brown, Senior VP, Sales, NA, Key Travel. https://vimeo.com/443875748

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 and boosted, 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 and its variants are 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 or 2022.

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 Organization: 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.

Michael Ciszek, OD, dipl ABO, FVI

President, VOSH/International

December 2021