Orthoptics Worldwide

Introducing "Orthoptics Worldwide", a new item with short articles/news/information from or about orthoptists working in non-member countries all around the world. If you would like to contribute to this section or learn more about orthoptics in one of the countries highlighted please contact any IOA representative or the IOA Webmaster, webmaster@internationalorthoptics.org.

Karin Spatz: Mabuhay! Orthoptics in North Samar / Philippines

Karin Spatz, Orthoptist in Germany, visited together with an ophthalmologist Bugko, a costal village with about 7000 inhabitants. Next to giving instructions to local helpers, the saw a great number of patients. Read her interesting report … 


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Daisy Godts: Evaluation and teaching mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo

"Light for the World Belgium", a NGO fighting against blindness, the improvement of quality of life of persons with a visual handicap and their rights invited Daisy Godts, Orthoptist, Belgium, to visit their 3 eye hospitals in the southern province of Congo, Katanga. Read about her wonderful experiences and interesting report. 

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Claudia Ehlers: Low Vision in Rwanda

Claudia Ehlers, teaching Orthoptist and Health Professions Educator (M. Sc) was invited to the Kabjye-Eye-Hospital to train eye-workers in the field of Low Vision. Don't miss and read her interesting report!

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Michelle Brown: Orthoptics in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a tiny British Overseas Territory located at the very Southern tip of Spain. 
he Rock of Gibraltar has long been associated with the Barbary Apes and despite its small size of 6 square kilometres, is home to approximately 27,000 Gibraltarians.

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Pakistan is renowned for its people who are contributing towards the betterment of some high demanding professions around the world. Vision Sciences (Orthoptics) is no different and it is amongst one of prestigious disciplines which have established deep roots in Pakistan. B.Sc. (Hons) in Orthoptics was launched in 2004 for the very first time in Pakistan as an extension to an existing programme
“Vision 2020 – Right to Sight (Prevention of Blindness)” run in collaboration with various international NGO‘s. Prof Dr Asad Aslam Khan has been kindly patronizing this programme at the College of Ophthalmology & Allied Vision Sciences (COAVS) run under King Edward Medical University Lahore, Pakistan which is one of Asia‘s top ranking medical institutions.

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Ewa Witowska: Orthoptics in Poland

The person responsible for the advent of orthoptics in Poland is Professor Marian Wilczek (1903 - 1967), whose initiative led to the construction of the Eye Hospital in Witkowice near Krakow, just after the end of World War II.  At that time, the hospital was the largest in Poland, and virtually unprecedented on the European scale, ward dealing with strabismus and amblyopia.  Professor Wilczek ran regular courses for orthoptists working at clinics specializing in strabismus and amblyopia. It is thanks to him that the profession of an orthoptist was formally recognized. 

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Svetlana Ismagilova: Estonia

Here in Estonia we have three orthoptists (all of us have secondary medical education). One in Latvia, who was educated as an optometrist, and as far as I know there is none in Lithuatia. In Estonia orthoptists have been working since 1996. As we have no orthoptic schools in Estonia, we were trained in orthoptics by ophtholmologists and studied a lot of special literature. We acquired our practical skills in Sweden under supervision of orthoptist Eileen Bentley-Wennhall, who also visited our country to control the work of Estonian orthoptists. Because orthoptics is not accepted as a profession in our country our main goal is to make it legitimate. I was given the opportunity to continue the education in orthoptics in Sheffield University, England. I graduated in 2006. Unfortunately nothing has changed. But we still hope, that the situation will take a turn for the better.

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Judith Musallam D.B.O: Orthoptics in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

During the 1970s, Israel offered a form of orthoptic training, which was useful to manage squints and amblyopia patients. However, this phased out as students looked for a higher training in European countries such as England, France and Italy. On returning to Israel, these orthoptists, on the strength of their qualification certificates, were able to register with the Israeli Ministry of Health and practice orthoptics both in hospitals and private practice. In 1999, the number of Israeli registered orthoptists was approximately 40. That figure has remained static to date, unlike the Israeli population , which is now approximately 7.5 million. Many Israeli orthoptists are now due for retirement and concern recently arose for the preservation of orthoptic practice in Israel.

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Marleen Veldt, Caroline Schuijt, : Orthoptic Work in Cameroon

For our orthoptic placement and research we traveled to Cameroon, a country in West -Africa. We performed vision screening at primary schools in Foumban (Centre Claire-Vision), Bafang (Hopital Ad Lucem de Banka-Bafang), Foumban (E.E.C. Hopital Protestant de Foumbam, Njissé), Bafoussam (Presbyterian Eye Services, Health Centre Acha-Annex Bafoussam). The research started September 1st, 2009 and was finished November 31, 2009.

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Lilliane Margaret Mugagga.: Orthoptics in Uganda

In her report Lilliane Margaret Mugagga desribes her work as an Orthoptist/Ophthalmic clinical officer/Refractionist at the Mengo Hospital Eye Clinic in Kampala, Uganda. Next to a very clear description of epidemiology in Uganda she also lists the various challenges orthoptists must face and possible plans to be realized. It is worthwhile reading her report!

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Anika de Cocq van Delwijnen & Ellen Bakker: Orthoptics in Rwanda

Two orthoptic students from Utrecht, The Netherlands, started their internship orthoptics in Kirinda, Rwanda.
Read about their experiences and enjoy the visual impressions.

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Afsar Ali: An Orthoptic Visit to Gibraltar

I feel two aspects should be covered: 1) how the job is and 2) how the country is.
Gibraltar is a British colony, so when you arrive you don’t need to exchange your pounds into another currency, which saves you the hassle of breaking a sweat over complicated conversions.

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