~ Author unknown
All things considered, 2011 was a good year for CARIOA. The challenges faced worldwide on economic, political and social fronts, as well as environmental catastrophes were monumental and the Caribbean was not immune. Thanks to you all who gave tirelessly of your time, resources and energy that still allowed us to:
..........proudly host World Council of Optometry President, Professor George Woo in two of our member countries, Trinidad and Guyana. In depth discussions were held between Prof. Woo and key Govt. officials in both countries regarding optometry's rightful place in eye and health care
...the world paid attention to our colourful and creative World Glaucoma Week awareness activities and eyes will once again be focused on the Caribbean from March 7th-12th during the 2012 World Glaucoma Week
.....we once again collaborated with the UWI School of Optometry to host successful World Sight Day activities. CARIOA and the TTOA enlisted support from PAHO and the Minister of Health for a Vision 2020 workshop facilitated by the UWI School of Optometry.
......our association with the Optometry Schools in both Trinidad and Guyana continues to flourish. CARIOA will sadly bid adieu to Lecturer and Optometrist Dr. Sandra Wang Harris as she leaves Trinidad to take up a new position. We will miss her boundless energy and enthusiasm and thank her for her role in helping get the School of Optometry off the ground and for inspiring our students to excellence
...our members continue to shine on local and international stages....Past President Nigel St. Rose produced and circulated a Trinidad & Tobago Optometry Brief meant to present a structured and comprehensive health argument for use by advocates for the profession throughout the region........along with the TTOA another successful Continuing Education event was hosted in Trinidad featuring internationally acclaimed lecturers....St. Lucia's Dr. Keith Mondesir recently ended a stint as Minister of Health in that island after initiating and overseeing the successful introduction of legislation allowing optometrists to treat a wide array of eye diseases....Dr. Jillia Bird has been named Vice President of the World Glaucoma Patient Support Group, an association of glaucoma patient support groups spanning 6 continents
Each New Year is a gift..... a platter full of new energy, new ideas ..... a fresh new page to write on......
Let's grasp this opportunity firmly with both hands and press on with our quest to bring Caribbean optometry into the 21st century and help reduce the blindness in our region.
Dr. Jillia Bird
ANTIGUA GLAUCOMA SUPPORT GROUP PROVIDES EYE CHARTS FOR DISTRICT CLINICS
The Antigua/Barbuda Glaucoma Support Group is this week wrapping up their World Sight Day Initiative started in October to outfit all the local District Clinics with new vision testing charts and to instruct nursing staff at each location on the proper methods to use the charts in testing patients' visual acuity. To date, 12 Clinics have received charts and the remaining clinics should be served shortly. World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness observed every October to focus global attention on blindness and visual impairment.
According to Dr. Jillia Bird, President of the Antigua Glaucoma Support Group; " Far too many persons are still going blind globally when an estimated 80% of blindness is avoidable. Also 90% of the world's blind persons live in developing countries such as ours. Partnerships such as ours this year with the Ministry of Health will go a long way in detecting visual impairment especially in school-aged children seen at the Clinics for routine immunization visits, diabetic patients and the elderly. "
Don't Let Glaucoma Darken Your Life
Another year, another theme: Last year’s theme, "Don’t lose sight of your family", was borrowed from Glaucoma Australia, which had used it to run several successful campaigns. To select a suitable theme for 2012, a poll was made among WGW coordinators, and several ideas came up. The top 3 were then proposed to the vote of the Paris 2011 World Glaucoma Congress participants, who were asked to cast their ballot in the World Glaucoma Association booth. The winning theme – by far – was
"Don’t Let Glaucoma Darken Your Life".
The new theme, with its various possible interpretations, lends itself admirably to the development of screening and prevention activities, but equally well to solidarity and support campaigns. Think about it: Glaucoma can darken the patient’s vision through developing and expanding scotomas; it can darken the patient’s psychology through anguish about the future; it can also darken the lives of the patient’s family through fear about their beloved person’s sight; finally – and maybe most important – it can create a strong guilt to a glaucoma patient who has kept the disease secret for whatever reason and learns that a beloved relative, sibling or child, has lost vision because of late diagnosis – a strong incentive to push one’s relatives to get screened!
So, start thinking about ways to build this year’s activities around this new theme. Unleash your imagination and creativity. Create artwork to illustrate one or – even better – several of the above interpretations of the theme. Propose, even if you cannot implement them yourself, activities that build on the new theme to encourage Glaucoma Awareness among physicians, patients and authorities. And, by all means, communicate your ideas to the Worldwide Glaucoma Community through the wgweek.net website.
Your patients will be grateful to you!
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR
World Glaucoma Week 2012 (WGW-2012) will take place from March 11 – 17, 2012.
WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR WGW-2012?
- Organize a screening event in your local institute/hospital.
- Give a lecture to a patient support group.
- Participate in radio & TV shows to talk about glaucoma and to answer questions.
- Contact newspapers to publish information about glaucoma.
- To seek for ideas, click here and find a list of event and media suggestions. It would be advisable to involve and liaise with your country’s Glaucoma Society and/or Glaucoma Patient Association in planning your WGW event.
WANTED: ARTWORK TO ILLUSTRATE WGW-2012 THEME
Please make your own composition (drawing, photograph, montage, or any other graphic artwork) to illustrate this year’s theme: "Don’t let glaucoma darken your life" and send it to us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Article courtesy World Glaucoma Patients Association)