International Centre for Eyecare Education - ICEE (pronounced ISee)

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International Centre for Eyecare Education - ICEE (pronounced I’See)

               ICEE is working to improve access to
               eye care and refractive error services in
                                                                                            spring 2008

                                                                   In Uganda, ICEE staff member Dr Naomi
                                                                   Nsubuga is working to help those
               Mongolia as well as providing training for          suffering from low vision and refractive
               spectacle technicians - read more inside.           error - read more inside.
                                                                                         ICEE congratulates
                                                                                         Reshma Dabideen
                                                                                         newly appointed
                                                                                         ICEE Regional

                     From the Chairman                                                   Director, Africa

Welcome to the Spring edition of the ICEE newsletter    giving sight
On the eve of World Sight Day 2008, we share with you our achievements from around
the globe.
This World Sight Day ICEE will be in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to celebrate the
opening of their first community-based, sustainable Vision Centre. The centre,
founded by ICEE in collaboration with PNG Eye Care, is a crucial element in creating
a sustainable system; providing surrounding communities with reliable access to eye
care and affordable spectacles.
We also take you to Mongolia, the world’s most sparsely populated country where
there are only two optometrists and where most of the population has never had an
eye examination. In this edition we are excited to report on the tremendous progress
ICEE has made to alleviate a critical shortage of eye care services.
We also introduce Yashoda from South Africa, a typical grade 7 student, who suffers
                                                                                         ICEE opens an eye clinic
from a refractive error that hinders her ability to learn. But thanks to the Child Eye   in the Mahatma Gandhi
Care Programme, ICEE was able to catch Yashoda’s need for vision correction and          Memorial Hospital in
provide her with the glasses she needs to be an active student.                          South Africa
In East Africa we visit Dr Naomi Nsubuga who tells us how nurses and midwives are
being trained to provide eye care. ICEE has developed an Uncorrected Refractive
Error Programme which will increase the refraction skills of those trained. She also
discusses the importance of setting up a decentralised service delivery system and
distribution network so patients can have access to affordable glasses.
We celebrate the work of ICEE Australia’s Professor Brian Layland, an incredible
advocate for Aboriginal Health, the 2006 recipient of the award for Excellence in
Health Service Delivery by a Non-Aboriginal Person and ICEE Director of Aboriginal
Programmes for NSW. Professor Layland has been visiting Aboriginal Medical
Services for 10 years. He tells us about one of his favourite locations, Wreck Bay
We have much going on around the world and even more to look forward to.
We thank you for your regular support.

                                                                                         Minister for Foreign
Professor Brien Holden OAM, Chair of ICEE                                                Affairs, the Honourable
                                                                                         Stephen Smith MP,
                                                                                         visits ICEE Board
CONTACT                                                                                  Member Dr Nag Rao at
International Centre for Eyecare Education                                               LV Prasad Eye Institute,
Level 4 Rupert Myers Building           P 1300 664 233
                                                                                         Hyderabad, India.
The University of New South Wales       F 02 9385 7436
UNSW Sydney NSW 2052, Australia         E
                                                                                                                   PAGE 7

 Wearing her glasses, Mrs Edsworth from       ICEE car used by optometrists to travel    Coral is a key staff member at Wreck
 Dubbo is able to safely walk around her      to eye clinics in NSW                      Bay Aboriginal Medical Service

 Teresa from Dubbo has her vision checked      Outback NSW                              Professor Brian Layland, recipient of the
 by ICEE optometrist, Mitasha                                                           2006 award for Excellence in Health Service
                                                                                        Delivery by a Non-Aboriginal Person

 Maria from Doonside wearing glasses          A deserted barn in country NSW            Ray from Dubbo wearing the glasses he
 prescribed by an ICEE Optometrist                                                      requires daily

Programmes for NSW, has been visiting the Aboriginal              • Through strong partnerships with Aboriginal Medical Services,
Medical Service at Wreck Bay to deliver eye care for 8 years.     the ICEE Aboriginal Vision Programme routinely provides eye care
                                                                  to 89 locations in NSW, and 23 locations in the Northern Territory.
“Coming to Wreck Bay has resulted in me getting to know
the people and their challenges. Having eye care services         • ICEE Eye Care Clinics are conducted in Aboriginal Community
                                                                  controlled facilities upon invitation.
available here means I see them regularly for check ups
which is essential for the diabetic patients – unfortunately      * Prevention of blindness from diabetes mellitus: report of a WHO
that wouldn’t happen if it were not for the Aboriginal Vision     consultation in Geneva, Switzerland, 9-11 November 2005.
Programme and ICEE ,” said Professor Layland.
          in the field
     Professor Brian Layland screens the vision   Busy countryside in NSW                              Rocky has his vision tested
     of Wreck Bay community member, Rocky                                                              for the correct glasses

     ICEE trained Aboriginal Eye Health Worker     Isolated highway in NSW               George from Wreck Bay has his vision tested
     Fiona Speechley                                                                     for the correct glasses prescription

     Professor Brian Layland with George’s        Sunset in Western NSW           Monika from Port Macquarie has an
     grandson Stephen                                                             eye examination

   Wreck Bay is located on the South Coast of NSW. Crystal clear     George, like so many Aboriginal people, suffers from diabetes.
   waters lap against white sandy shores and border pristine         A serious complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. This
   bushland south of Jervis Bay in Booderee National Park. It’s      may lead to severely impaired vision and even blindness. The
   been home to Aboriginal communities for generations.              tragedy is that 90% of cases can be prevented*. Control of
                                                                     blood sugar levels and regular eye examinations are critical
   George Brown, 56, first visited an ICEE Eye Care Clinic some
                                                                     in detecting and preventing advancement of the disease.
   years ago. George’s family has lived in Wreck Bay for four
   generations.                                                      Professor Brian Layland, ICEE Director of Aboriginal

                                                                          Australian Government Gives Hope
                                                                          In an unprecedented victory for disabilities, the Australian
                                                                          Government announced $45 million over 2 years for the
                                                                          elimination of avoidable blindness in the Asia-Pacific region.
                                                                          Speaking on behalf of ICEE, CEO Professor Brien Holden
                                                                          said, “The funding announced in this year’s budget will
                                                                          have a tremendous impact in our region. Australia will be
                                                                          making the most effective single effort toward reducing the
                                                                          progression of avoidable blindness and vision impairment
                                                                          witnessed in this region. I commend the Australian
                                                                          Government, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the
                                                                          Honourable Stephen Smith MP, and the Honourable Bob
                                                                          McMullan for their vision in the creation of this initiative”.
                                                                          “It is a fact that developing countries in the Asia-Pacific
                                                                          region need more trained eye care professionals to
                                                                          improve vision care. The new funding initiative will enable
                                                                          Vision Centres to be built to house ICEE-trained eye care
                                                                          professionals who have the skills necessary to restore the
                                                                          sight of thousands by the simple intervention of providing
                                                                          an eye examination and prescribing an appropriate pair of
                                                                          glasses,” said Professor Holden.

                                                                          *The Durban Declaration, written in 2007 at the ICEE-hosted
                                                                          Inaugural World Congress on Refractive Error, demands
Immediate past President of the International Agency for the Prevention   that refractive error be a priority. It calls upon governments,
        of Blindness and ICEE Board Member, Dr Nag Rao, ICEE Global       international organisations and other stakeholders to support
Programmes Director, Professor Kovin Naidoo and ICEE CEO, Professor       the development and deployment of appropriate human
      Brien Holden, in Canberra presenting Parliamentary Secretary for    resources, infrastructure and technology for the effective
 International Development Assistance, the Honourable Bob McMullan,       delivery of eye care services to address avoidable blindness.
                                with a copy of the Durban Declaration*.

World Sight Day 2008
Every year Vision 2020 and its global member organisations
celebrate World Sight Day to raise awareness of vision as a
basic human right.
This year’s theme is “Eyes on the Future – Vision and Ageing”.
To celebrate World Sight Day, ICEE will be present at the
opening of the first PNG Eye Care Vision Centre. ICEE
founded PNG Eye Care in February 2008.
Papua New Guinea’s first Vision Centre will provide Port
Moresby and surrounding communities with access to eye
care, affordable spectacles and trained refractionists and
optical workshop technicians.
                                                                          impact on the levels of poverty and general health for
The staff will be skilled to correct vision, detect eye disease
                                                                          hundreds of millions of people and the strategies employed
and manufacture and distribute affordable, high quality
                                                                          by ICEE have the potential to reduce the economic burden
spectacles. Their emphasis will be to create a community-
                                                                          of this unnecessary disability,” he said.
based, sustained eye care service in the region.
ICEE CEO, Professor Brien Holden, knows that the                          World Sight Day is an initiative of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight.
sustainable eye care model employed by ICEE, when                         ICEE is a Task Force member of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight and
implemented worldwide, will see a significant reduction in                a Principle Partner of Vision 2020: the Right to Sight, Australia.
the spiralling numbers of those suffering from avoidable
blindness or vision impairment. “Good vision has a direct

                       South Africa
   Child Eye Care Programme

   Yashoda is a typical Grade 7 student, with one exception; she has a previously
   undetected vision problem. She attends primary school in KwaZulu-Natal, South
   Africa. For Yashoda’s family, like so many, the costs associated with visiting an
   optometrist and buying a pair of glasses is insurmountable.
   In KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the ICEE Child Eye Care Programme provides
   eye examinations and affordable spectacles, educates communities about the
   importance of eye care and complements existing government services for
   school-aged children. Because of the Child Eye Care Programme, ICEE was able
   to visit Yashoda’s school, conduct an eye examination and provide the glasses
   she needed.
   Yashoda’s teacher, Mr Moodley, now describes Yashoda as an excellent student
   who is Head Prefect of her Grade 7 class. “It was difficult to detect the eye
   problem. I must say that we did not know about it,” he recalls.
   Yashoda dreams of being an author, “Before I had glasses I couldn’t see clearly,
   it was dull. Now I can see better, so I am able to do better in my school work. It
   feels great to be able to see properly, clearly, to see new things, and be able to
   read properly,” she said.
   Yashoda’s Principal, Mr Govender, recognises a key element to receiving a good                      “Now I can see better, so I
   education, and ultimately having future opportunities, is clear sight. “We really
   welcome the opportunities provided by ICEE. A child needs to read in order
                                                                                                       am able to do better in my
   to learn. Thirty-two learners at this school have gained tremendously by the                        school work. It feels great
   provision of spectacles,” he said.                                                                  to be able to see properly,
   “Our school is basically the house of hope for the learners and we believe very                     clearly, to see new things,
   firmly in not further disadvantaging communities that are already disadvantaged,”                   and be able to read
   said Mr Govender.
                                                                                                       properly,” said Yashoda.
   Through the Child Eye Care Programme ICEE has screened over 200,000 children
   in South Africa.

                                                                                                          To see more of Yashoda's story,
   *The ICEE Child Eye Care Programme is part of ICEE Giving Sight to Africa, KwaZulu-Natal Programme supported by ICEE donors of Australia, Institute
   for Eye Research, USAID, Standard Chartered Bank “Seeing is Believing”, Optometry Giving Sight and Discovery.
                                                                   “ICEE is committed to building sustainable
                                                                   eye care services to ultimately reduce the
                                                                   impact vision impairment has on lives,”
                                                                   said Dr Nsubuga.

In Uganda, ICEE staff member Dr Naomi Nsubuga is                “We have developed an Uncorrected Refractive Error
working to help those suffering from low vision and             Programme which will increase the refraction skills of
refractive error.                                               50 Ophthalmic Clinical Officers and train 8 Dispensing
                                                                Opticians in the next 5 years. Once trained it means more
It’s a big job. Between February and June 2008, ICEE
                                                                people have the skills necessary to provide eye care – the
provided eye examinations for 602 children, like Auzum
                                                                more people we train, the more patients can be seen and
(pictured below). In East Africa eye examinations are
                                                                the more little girls like Auzum will be enriched by sight”.
critical. Without them, too often children suffering with
low vision are placed in schools for the blind, even though
                                                                Thanks to Dr Nsubuga and our in-country partner Sightsavers
they have some ability to see.                                  International for hosting American Academy of Optometry member Dr
                                                                Moes Nasser on behalf of Optometry Giving Sight.
Dr Nsubuga explains the strategy ICEE employs in East
Africa to increase the accessibility of eye care, “ICEE
travels to regional areas, district hospitals and health
centres to train Ophthalmic Clinical Officers who become
primary eye care providers. Prior to training, these health
workers are typically practicing nurses or midwives”.
“ICEE also trains Dispensing Opticians to make and
distribute glasses and low vision devices. It is crucial that
patients have access to affordable vision correction. Our
decentralised service delivery system and distribution
network makes that possible,” said Dr Nsubuga.

Dr Moes Nasser gives an eye examination during his recent       Sister Regina is pictured with her student Auzum. Auzum
trip to Uganda.                                                 attends a special primary school for children with vision
                                                                    provide access to much needed eye care,” she said.
                                                                    Long-time, valued staff member, David Wilson,
                                                                    knows the importance of having qualified personnel.
                                                                    Recently, on the request of the Mongolia Optical
                                                                    Association, he travelled to Mongolia to conduct a
                                                                    Spectacle Technicians training course. The course
   In Mongolia, a country with 2.6 million inhabitants that         taught technicians how to correctly and efficiently
   spans 1.57 million km2, access to eye care is often limited      make, dispense and fit a pair of glasses – a critical
   to capital cities of its aimags (provinces). With less than      element in having sustainable eye care services.
   five optometrists working in Mongolia, and no training           “Providing training establishes standards and more
   programme for optometry in the country, refraction               importantly it means patients have uncomplicated
   services are limited and appropriate spectacle provision is      access to affordable, quality made spectacles,”
   mostly confined to the larger centres.                           David said.

   In the world’s most sparsely populated country, the              In June 2008, ICEE sent optometry preceptorship
   landscape and climate are unforgiving - distances to             students from UNSW to the northern Mongolia
   reach eye care services are made even greater due to poor        province of Hovsgol to assist a team of ophthalmic
   transportation on inadequate, weather-dependent roads.           professionals. They screened the vision of over 800
   It’s not surprising then that most Mongolians have never         people, referred 288 patients for further treatment
   had an eye examination.                                          and distributed 576 pairs of spectacles.

   ICEE Regional Director, Amanda Davis, says that is the          In June 2008, ICEE sent optometry preceptorship
   reason ICEE is now in Mongolia - to help improve the            students from UNSW to the northern Mongolia
   availability of optometric services such as refraction and      province of Hovsgol to assist a team of optical
   dispensing of affordable spectacles within the country. “So     professionals. They screened the vision of over 800
   far, we’ve been discussing with the Mongolian Ministry of       people, referred 288 patients for further treatment
   Health to develop refraction capacity in eye care personnel,    and distributed 576 pairs of spectacles.
   and setting up sustainable Vision Centres where we can

                                                                  ICEE Receives Grant
                                                                  The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation recognises
                                                                  projects in communities that focus on health and
                                                                  In August, ICEE received a A$20,000 grant from the
                                                                  Foundation on behalf of the Eldon & Anne Foote Trust
                                                                  The grant will go towards ICEE continuing to provide
                                                                  eye care to remote communities of Australia.

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 International Centre for Eyecare Education                                             ICEE -International Centre for Eyecare Education
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 Credit card donations can also be made online                                          Reply Paid 6396                      P 1300 664 233 or via phone 1300 664 233                                                 UNSW SYDNEY NSW 1466                 F 02 9385 7436
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Description: International Centre for Eyecare Education - ICEE (pronounced ISee)