Lakshmi Shinde Executive Manager, Global Education Optometry Council of India
Optometry Council of India (OCI) is a self – regulatory body established in September 2012. The Indian Optometry Federation (IOF) and Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) helped in the organisation’s formation. OCI is pleased to join IAPB as its member and represent the optometry community on an international platform.
We are a professional regulatory body with the responsibility of establishing & maintaining high standards of optometry education & recognition of optometry qualifications in India. We register optometrists in order to maintain quality and provide equitable & accountable eye care services for the people of India.
We envision excellence in optometry education & equitable eye care for India.
OCI commenced individual registration on 26th Jan 2014. We currently have 4800 members. We are also a country member of the World Council of Optometry (WCO).
For renewal of the OCI membership the members are required to acquire 50 CE credits points through continuing education. OCI as a body also accredits programmes and provides CE credits.
Although OCI is a self-regulatory body, we as an organization are also involved in increasing eye care awareness through various programmes that we conduct both during World Sight Day and World Optometry Day.
Apart from these we also get involved in projects such as truck driver screenings, school bus driver screenings and school children eye screening projects. Of all these, the school bus driver screening was unique, as it ensured that the bus driver who is responsible for children had good vision. This is an ongoing project and till date we have screened 957 school bus drivers and provided spectacles to 574 of them. Click here for more details.
Another unique project was the “Experience Vision” where we developed material to create awareness among both government school children and teachers about eye care. 11 posters were developed pertaining to various conditions such as myopia, squint, nutrition and diabetes. We understood that if information had to reach the people it had to be in the local language. Hence, we translated these into 9 local languages. 400 government schools were covered through Phase 1 of this project. In phase 2, we screened 16,000 children with the same protocol followed by Orbis which helped in comprehensive eye examination.
Eye care advocacy has also been of prime importance for OCI. We have developed “Best Practice Standards” for a comprehensive eye examination to be conducted by all practicing optometrists, in order to establish a uniform practice standard all over the country.
Keeping in mind the surge of refractive error, OCI has developed a Myopia White Paper and submitted it to the ministry of Health & Family Welfare advocating for school children to get mandatory one hour of outdoor activities during school hours.
OCI would like to continue its advocacy work ensuring quality eye care services reaches citizens of India.