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Eye Health Hero: Vera Lúcia Alves Carneiro

Vera Lúcia Alves Carneiro

Dr. Vera Carneiro has been a member of the executive board in the portuguese optometrists professional association, since 2016. She is responsible for regulamentary and legislative affairs, involved actively in the promotion, definition and implementation of changes to improve the access to eye care in Portugal.

In this role, she engages and elicits changes in the way eye care is provided with the portuguese minister of health, national health care general-directores, national and european parliamentary deputies, national and european eye care association, among others. She co-authored APLO’s proposal for regulating optometry and health care acts, solutions for providing primary eye care and health economic proposals. Also, she engages with school children in the APLO’s education and screening for eye health programme and is responsible and/or participate in the translation of international documents to portuguese as the World Council of Optometry “Why Optometry?” and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness “ School Eye Health Guidelines”.

She also co-authored of several scientific articles in peer review publications focused on eye care provision and planning, and optometric guidelines, namely, for adult eye screening, children eye screening, competencies for optometry, just to name a few.

She has been an APLO’s pilar and a main driver in the change for integration of optometric care in the primary eye care. Her groundbreaking experience as an hospital optometrist working in a multidisciplinary team, has achieved remarkable results, demonstrating the value and the benefits of interdisciplinary approach to eye health, which is even more valuable in the portuguese context where there still is a strong resistance to learn from international and national experiences and evidence-based practices.

And, on top of all, what makes her nomination more valuable, is her preparedness, strong will and motivation to battle and speak for change. Her training in eye health advocacy by the World Council of Optometry and Brien Holden Vision Institute, and being currently a PHD student focusing on public eye health, gives support and credit to her profound will and focus in ensuring eye health for all. Despite been 33 years of age, she stands a long, diversified, solid, already credited career and a recognised change maker for better eye health.

It’s because of the future and her ability to generate impact, grounded on her experience, knowledge and enormous heart, that APLO’s cannot imagine better nomination. Primary eye care changes lives and builds the future. Universal access to primary eye care improves child development, adult productivity, elderly autonomy and the quality of life at any age.

– Vera Lúcia Alves Carneiro