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Vision Excellence Awards: Salma Saleem

After her Diploma in Orthoptics and BSc in Optometry back in 2006, she has been relentlessly serving, now as a member of the faculty at Prevention and Control of Blindness at Civil Hospital Karachi in direct line with the Vision 2020 The Right to Sight program objectives.

She has been associated with our NGO as a visiting consultant, now for more than a decade providing through our setup, her valuable and needed services as an Orthoptist. Not very many eye care delivery setups have such an experienced and qualified resource.

Where I feel good in nominating her name is the fact that with her help, over the years we are able to serve the underprivileged and deprived people living at or below the poverty line who have nowhere else to go.

As an active community ophthalmologist, I strongly believe in reaching out to more and more of those having barriers to access quality eye care. The only way forwards for us is to help develop and deploy a field force of Optometrists. And this brings me to the raison d’etre for recommending her name.

She has over the years, and in line with the objectives of Vision 2020 The Right to Sight, contributed enormously by helping train and prepare that very important and vital arm for achieving goals of managing Visual Impairment, namey Human Resource Development. Without this resource at hand no force of sensitisation, strength of policy, or financial and technical assistance, domestic or international, can achieve its objectives.

With her help, active participation and supervision, we are preparing a skill intensive, one year Optometry Internship Programme. This is being organised under Khairun’nisa Institute of Visual Sciences, aimed at capacity building and refinement of skills of fresh and old optometry graduates. We hope to enable them to assume more independent Primary Eye Care functions preferably in the suburban and rural geography of Pakistan.