Making worldwide advances in eyecare

Published: 27 February 2008 at 16:43

New partnership will help to eliminate avoidable blindness and impaired vision.

The Department of Optometry and Ophthalmic Dispensing at Anglia Ruskin University is responding to the need for eyecare in India by establishing a collaborative partnership with the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the NSHM College of Management & Technology in Durgapur, West Bengal India. The aim behind this partnership, which will strengthen international ties in optometry between the UK and India, is to develop sustainable collaborative projects between the two institutions.

The need for high quality eyecare in India is great. The global initiative, Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, recognises that effective collaborations of organisations involved in a wide range of eyecare and community healthcare activities is a potent tool to the elimination of avoidable blindness and impaired vision.

In a recent ceremony held at the NSHM Campus in Durgapur, the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to collaborate on developing new courses, establishing student and faculty exchanges and research projects.

The initiative is lead by Dr John Siderov Head of Department from Anglia Ruskin University and Mr Soumendra N Ghosh, Head of Department from the NSHM College of Management & Technology. 

"We are very excited by this new initiative, which will bring our two institutions together to develop post-graduate courses for optometrists in India and the region and to establish research collaborations."

said Dr Siderov.

The Department of Optometry and Ophthalmic Dispensing at Anglia Ruskin has a record of developing new and innovative courses including one of the first ophthalmic dispensing and business management degrees, the first distance learning Foundation Degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing and the only Bachelor of Optometry qualification in the UK. The agreement with the NSHM Knowledge Campus continues the focus for Anglia Ruskin University on establishing links with partner institutions outside of the UK.

The Department of Optometry & Vision Science, NSHM College of Management & Technology is one of the best equipped for Optometry Education & Training in India and has one of the highest enrolments of students at the Bachelor’s programme level. This joint agreement has the potential to lead to exciting new developments, including new postgraduate courses for optometrists and enhancements in the delivery of optometric education for students in both India and the UK.