Recognizing that uncorrected refractive errors is a barrier to learning among many children, the Institute was invited to make a presentation on NGO support to addressing refractive errors among school children at the South Africa inaugural conference on Care and Support to Teaching and Learning (CSTL). The conference was organized by the National Department of Basic Education (DBE) in partnership with UNICEF and Media in Education and Technology (MiET) Africa. The conference’s key outcome was the establishment of a national CSTL network that will comprise all stakeholders with an interest in addressing barriers to learning such as poor vision and providing care and support to children in school. A Vision Alliance was also established with a view to improve children’s access to refractive errors services in the country.
The number of optometrists on the continent supported by Brien Holden Vision Institute has risen by 47 in the last 3 months. Lurio University in Mozambique graduated 26 optometrists, bringing the total number of optometrists in Mozambique and trained at the university to 78. Malawi now has a total of 50 locally trained optometrists after Mzuzu University graduated another 15 in June. The 6 pioneer Bachelor of Optometry students at Makerere University in Uganda completed their course in May and will graduate in January 2019 upon completing their internship. They will be the first locally trained optometrists in Uganda.