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Archive for the ‘Blindness’ Category

Provo-based organization CharityVision sees way to fight blindness – Daily Herald

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

October is Blindness Awareness Month, a day set aside to shed light on the importance of vision care and educational outreach. One local organization works year-round to bring awareness, but also to help people around the globe to have healthy vision.

On Saturday, CharityVision, which is based in Provo, celebrated Blindness Awareness Month by holding World Sight Day Art at the The Shops at Riverwoods. The event was open to all community members who wanted to come celebrate sight and the blessings it brings.

Artists were on hand so visitors could watch them create their works. Easels, art supplies and coloring pages were available and people were encouraged to bring their own art projects. The prompt of the day was, Because I see

Our goal is to help people be aware of their vision and the beauty they can see, said Anadine Marshall, CharityVision program director. We want to bring awareness that, all over the world, people struggle with vision.

According to http://www.charityvision.org, Dr. William Jackson, founder, was serving a mission for his church in the Philippines in 1987. While there, he realized that the optimal healthcare solution was not to be found in foreign doctors making medical mission trips. Rather, the solution was with local healthcare professionals.

He organized teams of local professionals who were willing and able to help the vulnerable of their own country who were living with cleft lip, cleft palate, cataracts and club foot. Then called the Deseret International Foundation, it was the beginning of CharityVision.

In the early 2000s, the organization, which is funded largely through donations and some business partnerships, began focusing on eye care.

In just over 30 years, CharityVision has expanded to 26 countries and hundreds of partnerships with local hospitals, doctors and clinics around the globe, it reads on the website.

Doug Jackson, Dr. Jacksons son, now oversees the organization. According to him, CharityVision provided 146,000 surgeries around the world last year alone. Doug Jackson said that the organization helps to provide help to people with all types of vision-related problems. Cataracts are the most commonly treated condition, he said.

When we think of cataracts, we often think of someones vision getting somewhat blurry, but for most of the people that CharityVision helps in other countries, the cataracts have caused complete blindness.

With surgery, they go from blind to sight, Doug Jackson said.

Many of the people we help have nowhere to turn. They cant work, cant go to school, Doug Jackson said. We say, Youre not forgotten.

The organization sends equipment and supplies and at times, sends expeditions to countries. But mostly, support is given to the local doctors and programs in various locations so local people in need are able to get help.

In addition to the international support that CharityVison gives, the organization helps people locally as well. Through the Sight Buddies program, children in Utah County schools are screened. Based on the initial screenings, those who need further screening are able to do that with an eye doctor and can even receive free eyeglasses through the program.

There are 2.2 billion people in the world who dont have access to eyecare who need it, Doug Jackson said. Many have nowhere to turn, they cant work, they cant go to school. We say, Youre not forgotten. When you give somebody their sight back, you give them the world.

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Provo-based organization CharityVision sees way to fight blindness - Daily Herald

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Blindness to cost India Rs 88k crore in 2020: Report – The New Indian Express

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The economic burden from vision impairment in India for 2020 amounts to Rs 88,900 crore, and 35% of causes of blindness are preventable and early detection can greatly reduce the economic impact, according to the Status of Child Eye Health in India report published by NGO Orbis which works to prevent and treat vision impairment.

The report, released on World Sight Day, also found that between 2019-20, the loss to gross national income due to blindness in adults would be Rs 9,06,200 crore and Rs 3,31,100 crore for children, for 10 and 40 lost working years, respectively. This includes the loss of economically productive years for both the visually impaired and their care-givers.Many of the conditions that affect children are detectable and treatable, said Dr Rishi Raj Borah, country director at Orbis India. The report brings to light 8-10 conditions in children, which, if diagnosed early, can prevent childhood blindness. These include childhood cataract and glaucoma, he said.

Other factors that affect treatment include availability of doctors. Urban areas have one ophthalmologist for 10,000 people but in rural areas it is one for every 2,50,000. Some children have eye problems at birth, while others develop them by the age of 10. Half of them are detectable and treatable, Dr Borah said.

The shortage of paediatric ophthamologists and paediatric optometrists in India apart, the lack of attention to ophthalmological conditions in primary healthcare also has serious implications for early diagnosis. General physicians and nurses at PHCs may not have the knowledge or time to examine a childs eyes. There is a lack of specialists and sufficient staff at PHCs, and in villages. Anganwadi and ASHA workers also arent trained to detect eye problems, said Dr Parikshit Gogate, paediatric ophthalmologist.

The lack of awareness that blindness can be detected early and even treated combined with stigma associated with it also acts as a preventive factor in seeking help. There is a mindset among parents that younger children do not need spectacles and that only older people suffer from blindness, Dr. Gogate added.Another reason is the lack of public health infrastructure such as specialised equipment, screening mechanism and charts to detect and treat cases. There is also a lack of coordination between gynaecologists, paediatricians and ophthalmologists, the report said.

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Blindness to cost India Rs 88k crore in 2020: Report - The New Indian Express

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Shakespeare Theatre announces its 2020-2021 virtual and in person season. – DC Theatre Scene

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Like spring crocuses peeking out of the melting snow, DC-area theaters are beginning to formulate a path back to their audiences, tentative but real. Shakespeare Theatre Company is among the first to do so, with a six-production portfolio not quite a schedule, as dates have not been announced of plays, some virtual, some in person under strict social-distancing protocols, and some both.

On the in person side will be the Donmar Warehouse production of Blindness, an immersive theater production for forty patrons at Harman Hall. Imagine a pandemic which causes blindness and you get the premise of the show, which will be done in darkness. There will be no actors on the stage. The audience will instead hear Juliet Stevensons recorded voice through headphones. Simon Stephens, who adapted The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, has put this show together from Jos Saramagos novel.

STC kicks off its digital season, and its STC Digital program, with the world premiere of Patrick Pages one-actor play All The Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villain. Page, himself an expert theatrical villain (he played a memorable Claudius here, and on Broadway has played Scar, the Grinch, the Green Goblin and, in Hadestown, Hades) here takes on the roles of Macbeth, Iago and Claudius (among others) by way of showing us the evolution of Shakespeares villains and our own. While any ticket holder will be able to see the play, STC Season subscribers will have an opportunity for a talkback session with Page.

Juliet Stevenson purrs and seethes in our headphones: as the only sighted survivor, she records turmoil and violence when the afflicted turn against each other, said the Guardian, Ben and Max Ringhams soundscape brilliantly conjures up spaciousness, movement and intimacy. Stevenson seems to prowl around the spectators; a lighter snaps on as if inside our heads. Walter Meierjohann, who directed the show in London, will direct it here.

Tickets for both All The Devils Are Here and Blindness will become available on November 16.

Some time later were not sure when STC will present Ionescos The Chairs. This is a story about an old man and an old woman, setting up chairs so that the whole world, such as it is, can hear a lecture about the old mans discovery. As the audience files in, the old man and the woman speak to them, but the remarkable thing about the audience is that itsinvisible. Or maybe absent. Is this a post-apocalyptic world? Maybe. Is the old mans discovery about the secret of existence? Maybe. Is there actually going to be a speaker? Maybe. Longtime STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul directs; this play will be available both in person and digitally.

OK, imagine this. It is 1833, and we are at Londons Royal Theatre. The greatest Shakespearean actor of his time, Edmund Kean, is playing Othello in blackface, of course. Suddenly, Kean collapses on stage! Quick! Bring in the understudy! Butcould this be the understudy? An actual Black actor the American Ira Aldridge? In Lolita Chakrabartis Red Velvet, the response is electric: Britain was full of people theater professionals, critics, and audience alike who thought that by taking the stage Aldridge would bring about the end of civilization. Aldridge, who came to England because he knew he would never get a chance to act in America, responded with personal charisma and a gift for confabulation at one point claiming, falsely, to have been born in Senegal. Chakrabartis play is a fascinating character study of Aldridge, who it sees as an essentially tragic figure, a genius and proto-method actor who was hunted and haunted to his professional end and allowed no personal weakness, said the Chicago Tribunes Chris Jones in a somewhat mixed review. And it serves as a reminder that there is nothing new about our conversations over casting and race. Jade King Carroll directs.

DCTS Guide: The 2020-2021 DC area theatrical season

STC will round out its season with two classics. In Arthur Millers The Crucible, the accusations of hysterical children, led by a manipulative teenager, induce a regional psychosis which results in the deaths of dozens of innocent people. Does this have a contemporary resonance? It certainly did for Miller when he wrote it, and it does for director Whitney White, who directed The Amen Corner B.C. (Before Covid). She has an ambitious plan for this production, says STC Artistic Director Simon Godwin. Whitney is going to revitalize Millers political drama for our times.

And Godwin himself will be helming As You Like It, the Bards magical voyage to the Forest of Arden. You remember As You Like It: The brawling de Boys; ancient Adam; the wrestling match; the Good Duke and the Bad Duke; the forbidden passion of Orlando and Rosalind; love poems posted on trees; melancholy Jacques; all the worlds a stage; girls disguised as boys the whole nine yards. Godwin calls it one of my favorite Shakespearean comedies, an escape from the politics of the court into a green world of wonder, love, and family reunions.

The Chairs, Red Velvet, The Crucible and As You Like It will be available both digitally and in (socially distanced) person.

While individual tickets are not yet available, you can get a season ticket by going here.

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Call for Ideas: Innovative Technology to Reduce Visual Impairment & Blindness – PRNewswire

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Seva Foundation is proud to announce the winners of its 2020 Call For Ideas to identify innovative technology-based solutions to improve eye care delivery. The Berkeley-based vision care humanitarian organization has committed up to $250k to spark innovation in technology to transform lives by restoring sight.

This year's winners are as follows:

Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment, and of these, 1 billion people have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.

"For over four decades, Seva has invested in and used cutting edge technology to deliver world-class care for people in need," says Kate Moynihan, Executive Director of Seva Foundation. "Through our Global Sight Network, these innovations will help us to further extend our reach, and transform more lives than ever before."

"With this support from Seva Foundation, we are excited to explore whether artificial intelligence can be applied to low-cost camera systems," says Dr. Parag Shah of Aravind. "This could help us achieve the goal of eliminating blindness from ROP in India and around the world."

About Seva

Seva is a global nonprofit eye care organization that transforms lives by restoring sight and preventing blindness. Since 1978, Seva has provided sight-saving surgeries, eyeglasses, medicine, and other eye care services to more than 44 million people in underserved communities around the world. We work with partners in more than 20 different countries around the world, including the USA. To find out more, visit http://www.seva.orgor email [emailprotected].

SOURCE Seva Foundation

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Thousands denied cure for blindness due to ban on tissue donation from gay men – Washington Blade

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

(Photo by Tony Alter; Attribution 2.0 Generic [CC BY 2.0])

A first-of-its-kind medical journal study published on Sept. 24 shows that as many as 3,217 intended donations of corneas from the eyes of gay and bisexual men in 2018 that could have restored the vision of blind people through cornea transplant surgery were disqualified under an outdated U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy aimed at preventing HIV infection.

The study released by JAMA Ophthalmology, an American Medical Association journal, says the little-known FDA policy prohibits the donation of corneas from men who have had sex with men in the past five years from the time of the planned donation. It points out that the policy has not been revised since the FDA adopted it in 1994 despite major scientific advancements in the detection of HIV in human tissue within eight to 10 days after infection.

With millions of people across the world in need of corneal transplants, these discarded corneas from gay and bisexual men could be used to address the shortage and safely restore vision to thousands of patients with corneal blindness or visual impairment, said Dr. Michael A. Puente, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and lead author of the study.

With modern virologic testing and a better understanding of the low risk of HIV transmission through corneal transplants, this five-year deferral policy for gay men is not supported by current science, Puente, an eye surgeon, said in a statement. We ask federal regulators to reconsider these outdated policies which are depriving patients of the possibility of sight restoration, he said.

Medical literature on cornea donations and corneal transplant surgery states that similar to heart transplants, corneas can only be donated by people who have died, many of whom have left an advance directive to become an organ or tissue donor.

The statement accompanying the study says all corneal donors in the United States are required to undergo three separate HIV tests. Puente told the Washington Blade the HIV tests can be performed shortly before a terminally ill person dies or shortly after death as long as at least one of the tests is performed within seven days of the time the cornea is donated.

Up until 2015, the FDA adhered to a lifetime ban on men who have sex with men, referred to as MSM, from donating blood. The FDA announced that year that a review it conducted concluded that a lifetime ban was no longer scientifically justified and recommended that MSM considering donating blood be sexually abstinent for one year. In April of this year the FDA lowered the period of abstinence for MSM blood donors to three months.

If its safe for gay men to donate their blood after three months of abstinence, I can think of no scientific reason to continue to require gay men to be abstinent for five years to donate their eyes, Puente said. This policy can be changed without increasing the risk of HIV transmission, and I would urge authorities to act as soon as possible to help patients who are waiting for sight-restoring surgery.

The medical journal article says to the knowledge of the teams of researchers who conducted the study, no case of HIV transmission from a corneal transplant has been reported anywhere in the world. The article notes that in cases where a corneal donor was discovered to be HIV positive after a transplant surgery had taken place, none of the recipients contracted HIV.

One reason for the low transmissibility of HIV via corneal transplant is thought to be the corneas avascularity, which prevents the cornea from being a major reservoir of the virus, according to the article. Studies analyzing the corneas of HIV-infected patients have consistently found that that HIV is not present in most of the corneas of HIV-positive patients, it reports.

The statement accompanying the study says the U.S. and Canada are outliers in policies restricting corneal donations for MSM. It notes that Canada currently requires MSM to have been abstinent for one year prior to a corneal donation.

Many countries, including Spain, Italy, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina, allow gay and bisexual men to donate their eye tissue just as easily as heterosexual donors, the statement says. Other countries have deferral periods far shorter than five years, says the statement. For example, the United Kingdom allows corneal donation by gay and bisexual men after only three months of abstinence, while the Netherlands and France only require gay and bisexual corneal donors to be abstinent for four months.

Puente told the Blade he learned that members of Congress urged the FDA to modify its MSM cornea donation policy in 2013 and the Eye Bank Association of America in 2017 also called for a change in the policy, but the FDA chose to leave the 1994 policy in place.

Monique Richards, a spokesperson for the FDA, told the Blade in an email in response to a Blade inquiry about the MSM corneal donor policy, that the current policy is based on recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions 1994 guidelines published in its journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Research has shown that a history of male-to-male sexual contact was associated with a 62-fold increased risk for being HIV positive, whereas the increase in risk for a history of multiple sexual partners of the opposite sex was 2.3 fold, Richards said.

She added that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that about two-thirds of all new HIV infections in the United states occur in MSM, who make up only 2 percent of the total U.S. population.

The FDA will continue to review its [tissue] donor deferral policies to ensure they reflect the most up-to-date scientific knowledge, Richards said. This process must be data-driven, so the time frame for future changes is not something we can predict.

The JAMA Ophthalmology article can be accessed here.

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Second edition of vision quiz is a success – The New Indian Express

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

By Express News Service

CHENNAI:The second edition of For Your Eyes Only, a quiz on sight and vision was held on October 8 and October 11, under the auspice of Rajan Eye Care Hospital. This quiz was held as part of World Sight Day, held on the second Thursday of October every year.

World Sight Day aims to focus global attention on vision impairment and blindness. There is a different theme every year, with many of those who mark the day taking the opportunity to both celebrate achievements and advocate for increasing attention towards eye care. Globally, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness has a leadership role in preparing the annual World Sight Day.

X QUIZ IT was the knowledge partner and curated the event. The quiz was for schoolchildren from classes 6-12 and the event saw registrations from more than 1,000 students from all across India. On October 8, the preliminary round was held and six students were qualified for the finals that was held on October 11. Tejas Venkataramanan, a student from PSBB School, KK Nagar, was the winner of the quiz. Prateek, a student from Army Public School, Patna, was the runner-up. Sunaina from Army Public School, Nandambakkam, was declared the second runner-up. Gift vouchers amounting to `10,000 and e-certificates will be awarded to top 11 qualifiers. The questions were both informative and appealing, which made the quiz interactive.

In his closing address, Prof Dr Mojan Rajan, chairman and medical director, and a pioneer in cataract surgery, congratulated the participants for their commendable performance and lauded quiz master R Arvind and team X QUIZ IT for their in-depth research, commitment and professionalism.He urged that the message of eye donation should be spread far and wide so that corneal blindness especially among children can be eradicated to a large extent. He also emphasised that eyedonation is a vital humanitarian gesture and a life-enriching gift.

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India will lose Rs 889 billion in 2020 to blindness: Report – The New Indian Express

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The economic burden of blindness in India in 2020 would be Rs 889 billion, stated a report titled 'Status of Child Eye Health in India' published by Orbis, an NGO that works in the prevention and treatment of blindness.

The Cumulative Gross National Income loss due to blindness is Rs 9,062 billion for adults and Rs 3,311 billion for children, for 10 and 40 lost working years, respectively. This can be attributed to the loss of economically productive years not of the visually impaired alone, but that of caregivers as well. The report was released on World Sight Day -- October 8.

Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director, Orbis India, said, The report brings to light 8 to 10 conditions in children that if diagnosed early can prevent childhood blindness. These include childhood cataract, childhood glaucoma, strabismus (Squint), amblyopia (Lazy Eye), refractive errors, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and retinoblastoma."

The report highlights the urban-rural disparity urban areas have 1 ophthalmologist for 10,000 people but in rural areas it is 1 for every 2,50,000 people.

Some eye problems are present at birth, and others develop as the child grows between the age of 0 years to 10 years. Half of them are detectable and treatable and the remaining are not.

Explaining the reasons why early diagnosis of childhood blindness gets missed out in India, Dr. Parikshit Gogate, paediatric ophthalmologist, public health specialist and volunteer faculty at Orbis said, "There is a lack of trained specialists and sufficient manpower at Primary Health Centre and village level. There are not enough paediatric ophthalmologists and paediatric optometrists in the country. Anganwadi and ASHA workers are not trained to detect eye problems. MBBS doctors and nurses at the PHC may not have the knowledge or time to examine the child's eyes."

"There is a mindset among parents that younger children do not need spectacles and they feel wearing one is a sign of weakness. There is a lack of awareness on child blindness as the assumption is that only older people suffer from it. Another reason is the lack of public health infrastructure to detect and treat these conditions in the country," Dr. Gogate added.

Infrastructure includes specialised equipment, screening mechanism and charts for child screening. There is also a lack of coordination between gynaecologists, paediatricians and ophthalmologists, the report finds.

The report also highlights malnutrition, younger children being unable to comprehend that they have a vision problem, genetic factors, global warming and ultraviolet radiation, thermal pollution, heat pollution, water pollution and increased use of digital devices as other reasons for childhood blindness.

The report talks about the interventions that can improve child eye health in India the preventive model, eye screening, building awareness, focus on refractive error, expansion of healthcare, vaccination, Vitamin A supplementation, provision of visual aids etc.

Early detection of 35% of preventable causes of blindness in children can hugely reduce the economic burden of blindness in India, it added.

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India will lose Rs 889 billion in 2020 to blindness: Report - The New Indian Express

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International White Cane Day News Of The Area – News Of The Area

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Dale Cleaver, CEO Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

DEAR News Of The Area,

ON International White Cane Day (15 October), we at Guide Dogs NSW/ACT want to highlight the need for awareness of white canes.

White Cane Day was created to highlight the important role mobility assistance devices play in helping people with low vision or blindness lead safe and independent lives.

This year, our campaign is celebrating the fun, fearless and adventurous spirit of our young Clients and cane users who live life to the fullest, with many engaging in everything from skateboarding to gymnastics.

For many people with low vision and blindness, a white cane is one of the first tools they may learn how to use as part of orientation and mobility training, and for children, a white cane is often the key to their first experiences of independence and freedom. It is a tool they will count on throughout their life.

A white cane is the mobility tool of choice for the majority of Guide Dogs Clients because of its practicality and the way it can give sensory feedback about the surrounding environment, but also its importance as a visual signifier to others in the community of low vision and blindness.

But right now, a white cane is more than a visual symbol that someone has low vision or blindness. It is also a visual symbol that the person using the white cane cant easily maintain a 1.5-metre distance from others.

Weve heard many stories from our Clients who are being increasingly cautious about what environments they travel in with their white cane, aware of the fact that they cant easily see others to socially distance.

This International White Cane Day, we are asking the community to be aware of people using a white cane.

You can help them continue to move safely, confidently and independently through any environment, by giving them 1.5-metres of space.

Id also like to thank everyone who has extended their support to Guide Dogs or our clients, or to anyone who has shown an extra bit of kindness to someone in need this year.

Regards,Dale CLEAVER, CEO Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

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HelpMeSee Launches Revolutionary Technology in Response to the Global Cataract Crisis – PR Newswire India

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

"The HelpMeSee team, as well as technology partners Harman, InSimo, and SenseGraphics, are pleased to announce this medical advancement on World Sight Day, an event to advance vision health across the globe," said HelpMeSee President and CEO Saro Jahani. "The HelpMeSee Eye Surgery Simulator overcomes the traditional restraints of cataract surgery training with unlimited virtual practice opportunities. It also offers the benefits of remote simulation-based training during the COVID-19 pandemic, limiting the risks of exposure to coronavirus infection."

More than 60 million people across the world are blind or severely visually impaired simply because they cannot access cataract surgery, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Association for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). The HelpMeSee Simulator and training program along with partners can develop a significant number of cataract specialists that public health experts say are needed to address the developing world ophthalmologist shortage, a factor behind the cataract surgery backlog.

The simulator was the innovative vision of Flight Safety International Founder Albert L. Ueltschi and his son, James "Jim" Tyler Ueltschi. In 2010, they founded HelpMeSee to end the backlog of cataract and visual impairment cases caused by the lack of access to high-quality, affordable cataract surgery.

Jim Ueltschi, Co-Founder and Chairman of HelpMeSee, said, "This achievement will truly change the world of ophthalmology. Every specialist we train on the Eye Surgery Simulator will treat thousands of people each year. Over time, millions will have their vision restored through the cataract surgery skills honed on the HelpMeSee Simulator."

The HelpMeSee Eye Surgery Simulator encompasses an adaptation of an actual virtual microscope used in surgery, two haptic handpieces, a virtual syringe, the patient head and hand rest, and a touchscreen user interface, powerful visuals and simulation software, and everything required to simulate an MSICS surgery. The two handpieces and syringe represent the complete set of surgical instruments needed to perform an MSICS procedure. Programmed lessons with onscreen guides and error messages assist the student in mastering the MSICS technique and the instructor in providing objective feedback.

About HelpMeSee

HelpMeSee is a global not-for-profit campaign to end the backlog of cataract blindness and visual impairment caused by the lack of high quality, affordable cataract surgery. For more information, go to HelpMeSee.org.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Sean Connolly[emailprotected]717-525-3004

Photo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1308699/HelpMeSee.jpg

https://helpmesee.org/

SOURCE HelpMeSee

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Introducing the 2020 AAMC award winners – AAMC

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

The developers of a pioneering gene therapy to treat blindness. A health policy expert who was instrumental in the drafting of the Affordable Care Act. A medical school whose commitment to the community extends from creating a COVID-19 clinic for homeless residents to partnering with the local school system to champion careers in health care. These are a few of the recipients of the 2020 AAMC Awards, which recognize individuals and institutions that have made outstanding contributions in medical education, biomedical research, clinical care, and community engagement. The awardees will be recognized during a video tribute in November at Learn Serve Lead 2020: The Virtual Experience.

Sondra Zabar, MD: 2020 Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education

Through scholarship, mentorship, and educational and assessment innovation, Sondra Zabar, MD, professor of medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, has been on the leading edge of teaching and evaluating clinical care. She pioneered the use of unannounced standardized patients to assess trainees clinical performance, and she leads the Standardized Patient Program at NYU/New York Simulation Center, which serves more than 15,000 learners every year. She is a diligent and rigorous scholar, having published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and authored the seminal textbook on objective structured clinical examinations. She also founded the Program in Medical Education Innovations and Research, which has awarded more than 30 teaching fellowships and 50 seed grants to advance medical education scholarship and institute patient-centered best practices. Dr. Zabars accolades include the Distinguished Teaching Award, NYUs most prestigious educational honor, and the Medical Educator Award and the Scholarship in Medical Education Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, and Albert M. Maguire, MD: 2020 Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences

Countless people around the world who were blinded by a once-untreatable disease can now see because of a pioneering gene therapy developed by Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, and Albert M. Maguire, MD, professors of ophthalmology at the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) at the University of Pennsylvania. By creating the first gene therapy to treat blindness, Drs. Bennett and Maguire not only reversed the effects of an inherited retinal degenerative disease, Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), but ignited new research to combat other genetic causes of blindness as well. The therapy, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2017 and named Luxturna, replaces a mutated gene, RPE65, that triggers LCA. Drs. Bennett and Maguire continue to lead the development of therapies for impaired vision through their own research and by supporting the work and building the careers of other scientists. They also established the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics at PSOM to advance treatments for retinal and ocular diseases through research and training.

Ezekiel J. Zeke Emanuel, MD, PhD: 2020 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation David E. Rogers Award

Few physicians have had as demonstrable an effect on improving the health of Americans in the 21st century as Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, vice provost for global initiatives at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. As special advisor on health policy to the Office of Management and Budget from 2009 to 2011, Dr. Emanuel was instrumental in the drafting and early implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the nations most sweeping health reform law in decades. A renowned bioethicist, Dr. Emanuel has also indelibly shaped clinical research ethics. As founding chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health for 14 years, Dr. Emanuel led the creation of a training program for bioethicists; initiated the revision of the Common Rule, which brought significant reform to regulations in research involving human subjects; and was integral to crafting the latest Declaration of Helsinki, the World Medical Associations policy statement on medical research involving human subjects.

Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD: 2020 Herbert W. Nickens Award

Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD, has distinguished himself throughout his 40-year career as a phenomenal physician-scientist and a courageous leader in social justice, equity, and fairness. Through his scholarship and national, regional, and community efforts, he has worked to make a difference in the lives of people affected by racial and ethnic health disparities. Dr. Laurencinco-founded the W. Montague Cobb/National Medical Association Health Institute in Washington, DC, which focuses on addressing health disparities, and he is the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. An outstanding administrator and practicing orthopedic surgeon, he previously served as dean of the University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Medicine and vice president of health affairs at UConn. Dr. Laurencin is also an extraordinary scientist whose research has yielded more than 500 publications and patents. He is the first person in history to win both the highest award of the National Academy of Medicine, the Walsh McDermott Medal, and the highest award of the National Academy of Engineering, the Simon Ramo Founders Award. President Obama presented the 2016 National Medal of Technology and Innovation Americas highest award for technological achievement to Dr. Laurencin.

Patricia Garcia, MD, MPH: 2020 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award

Patricia Garcia, MD, MPH, associate dean for curriculum at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, exemplifies humanism in medicine, working tirelessly to champion her patients, students, and a better society. Attending medical school in the 1980s, Dr. Garcia became intensely interested in caring for patients with HIV and AIDS. As a fellow, she co-founded the first womens HIV program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Today, the clinic has a 99% success rate in eliminating maternal-fetal transmission of HIV. She founded the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative and traveled to labor and delivery units throughout Illinois to train staff in how to perform HIV testing for pregnant mothers and ensure transmission-preventing treatment could be provided. Dr. Garcia is also a big supporter of student-led initiatives, including a recent health care hackathon and the creation of Safe Space Training for faculty and staff, an initiative to improve the learning environment for LGBT+ students.

Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center: 2020 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Engagement

Established in 1837, Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is a trusted service provider and anchor institution where learners, faculty, staff, and administrators continually demonstrate their commitment to the community. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rush created the Chicago Homelessness and Health Response Group and Equity (CHHRGE) as an extension of one of the 35 ongoing programs of the Rush Community Service Initiatives Program. Faculty stepped in to provide care for people experiencing homelessness and, working closely with the citys public health officials, CHHRGE continues to administer tests, address outbreaks, provide behavioral health services, and identify gaps in care coordination while laying out a plan for permanent housing. This is just the latest example of the institutions commitment to the health and well-being of its neighbors. Rushs focused recruiting practices leverage community partnerships to provide critical support to job applicants during the hiring process and beyond. Rush is also committed to creating a diverse pipeline of health professionals by working with local students. In particular, Rush has been providing mentoring, tutoring, shadowing, and exposure to health careers to students at the reinvented Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School since 2013.

John W. Bigbee, PhD: 2020 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Over three decades, John W. Bigbee, PhD, a professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, has developed a reputation as an innovative and enthusiastic educator. Throughout his career, he has spent countless hours developing innovative materials and original images to use in teaching students about the microscopic anatomy of tissues. Recognizing changes to educational laboratory environments and the power of technology in the 1990s, Dr. Bigbee and colleague Alice Pakurar, PhD, led an ambitious project to create what he describes as an interactive digital atlas of more than 1,200 histology images and illustrations and associated learning materials. First engineered on CD-ROM in 1998, Digital Histology is now available as an open educational resource for histology learners around the globe. Dr. Bigbees dedication to his learners is also evident from the awards they have bestowed on him, including 27 Outstanding Teaching Awards and the 2002 VCU Award for Innovating Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology.

Marianne M. Green, MD, FACP: 2020 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Since joining the faculty at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 1997, Marianne M. Green, MD, FACP, has pioneered educational reform. Under Dr. Greens leadership, Feinberg was among the first medical schools to modernize its curriculum and implement a comprehensive electronic portfolio-based assessment system, which permits the longitudinal measurement of competency achievement and individualized student support for learning.

Dr. Green, who is now senior associate dean for medical education, has led the implementation of several additional curricular innovations at Feinberg. They include implementing the schools first clerkship-associated objective structured clinical examination; designing and implementing an electronic tracking system to better review longitudinal student performance; and designing and implementing competency-based medical education. Currently, Dr. Green is leading a team to implement an entrustable professional activities framework into the competency-based assessment system. She has received more than a dozen teaching awards, including the schools most selective, the George H. Joost Award for Teaching.

Paul A. Hemmer, MD, MPH, MACP: 2020 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Ever passionate about student and faculty development, Paul A. Hemmer, MD, MPH, MACP, has dedicated his career to improving medical education. As vice chair for educational programs at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, Maryland, Dr. Hemmer oversees all pre-clerkship educational programs and intradepartmental courses, all medicine clerkship sites in the continental United States and Hawaii, M4 electives throughout the United States, and key faculty development programs and initiatives. Dr. Hemmers associated scholarship in evaluation, curriculum, and faculty development and educational research has also earned him national and international praise. He has received numerous honors, including Academic Grand Master of the U.S. Air Force; the Patil Award for Assessment by the Association for Medical Education in Europe; the Ruth-Marie E. Fincher, MD, Service Award from the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association; the Laureate Award from the Air Force Chapter of the American College of Physicians; and the Carol Johns Medal, the highest honor faculty can bestow at the USUHS.

Daniel R. Wolpaw, MD: 2020 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Over the past four decades, Daniel R. Wolpaw, MD, has been a force for innovation in medical education, envisioning learner development as a complex adaptive challenge aimed at preparing medical students to lead and practice in the health care systems of the future. As professor of medicine and humanities at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Dr. Wolpaws notable contributions include developing and co-directing the Systems Navigation Curriculum, developing and co-directing an innovative course in critical thinking, and serving as the design lead for educational innovation at the schools University Park Regional Campus. Before joining Penn State in 2013, Dr. Wolpaw served on the faculty at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine for 30 years. At both institutions and nationally, he has received high praise for his extraordinary skills as an educator and mentor. His accolades include the Career Achievements in Medical Education Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine and the Newark Beth Israel Healthcare Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award.

For more information about the 2020 awardees, read more here.

Nominations for the 2021 AAMC Awards are now open. Visitaamc.org/awardsto learn more about the criteria and submit a nomination.

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We could be doing more to prevent vision loss for people with diabetes – The Conversation AU

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Diabetes-related vision loss is the leading cause of blindness for working-aged Australians. Yet its almost entirely preventable.

A recent Australian study found only half of people with diabetes get the recommended annual eye checks.

We could be doing things better.

Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are three times more likely to develop diabetes than non-Indigenous Australians.

Diabetes occurs when glucose (sugar) in your blood is not converted into energy, so its level becomes too high. Blood glucose is our main source of energy and mostly comes from the food we eat.

Diabetes can be managed, for example through lifestyle modifications, medication, or insulin. Diabetes management will be a different experience for each person, and depend on the type of diabetes they have.

But the central aim is keeping blood sugar levels within a healthy range. When theyre not, people with diabetes are at higher risk of complications, which can affect all parts of the body.

Read more: A disease that breeds disease: why is type 2 diabetes linked to increased risk of cancer and dementia?

The most common complication of diabetes globally and for Australians is eye disease.

Diabetes-related eye disease affects more than one in three people with diabetes. When left undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause vision loss and blindness.

Diabetes-related eye disease can occur when there is damage to the blood vessels on the retina, a thin layer at the back of the eye. This damage limits oxygen and other nutrients reaching the eye.

We need a healthy retina to be able to see.

The chance of developing diabetes-related eye disease is higher for some people, including those who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or who have had diabetes for many years.

Worryingly, the study we mentioned above found people who had been living with diabetes for ten or more years were even less likely to get regular eye checks. Almost 80% of people in this group didnt have the recommended annual eye check.

When diabetes-related eye disease becomes more advanced, it can cause blurred or distorted vision and blindness. But we can prevent most diabetes-related vision loss before it reaches this stage.

Special cameras allow us to look at the retina and see if irregular spots or blood vessels are developing.

At this early stage the disease has no impact on a persons vision. Once we detect it, we can provide timely treatment with laser therapy or injections.

But without regular eye checks, we might not know until its too late.

Read more: How Australians Die: cause #5 diabetes

Strong social impact work from the government, not-for-profits and local health services is already preventing diabetes-related eye disease from developing into vision loss and blindness in many people.

2020 Australian of the Year, ophthalmologist James Muecke, cofounded the not-for-profit Sight For All and has brought attention to the issue of preventable vision loss for people with diabetes.

The federal government is investing in a national diabetes eye screening program, as well as primary health-care technology and training to embed retinal care in 105 existing health services across Australia. But national programs can put a blanket solution over the population.

When one Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health-care service introduced cameras in 2008, they screened 93% of regular clients with diabetes for eye disease a significant improvement on 16% the previous year. But we found these rates subsequently declined and by 2016, only 22% had an eye check.

We can see just having the technology in primary care is not enough. Ongoing quality improvement is integral to a successful service in the long term.

In the case of diabetes-related eye disease, the science supporting early detection is advancing every day. But its not reaching those who need it the most, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Having the technology, policy or medicine alone is not sufficient. We need to unlock the potential of communities, empowering everyone to have joint responsibility.

Read more: Words from Arnhem land: Aboriginal health messages need to be made with us rather than for us

A model of person-centred eye care would involve:

making screening and treatment easy to access for people with diabetes. This means addressing physical barriers, such as distance and cost, but also cultural, emotional and social barriers that might stop people from getting their eyes checked

thinking about the screening experience, including:

considering the experience of the diverse teams providing this care, including keeping staff well equipped, trained and motivated

investing in researching, developing and testing the non-medical components of eye care services. For example, the reminder system, the workflow of each eye check, and how the results are delivered to patients.

We must pursue ongoing improvement of eye care that involves and empowers people with diabetes, their health teams and communities to develop services, systems, new technology and policies that meet their needs.

There is potential for us to prevent blindness in more people with diabetes.

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Princess of Wales Theatre welcomes back audiences – Muskoka Region News

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

TORONTO Audiences are set to be welcomed back to the Princess of Wales Theatre for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered indoor stage productions in March.

Mirvish Productions announced Thursday that it's preparing to premiere "Blindness," based on Jose Saramago's contagion-themed novel, at the downtown Toronto theatre next month.

But rather than the traditional thrill of live performance, Mirvish says theatregoers will be treated to a "socially distanced sound installation," with audience members spaced out on stage while the play is piped into their sanitized headphones.

The theatre company says staff have spent months consulting with artists' associations and a team of medical experts to find ways to offer theatrical experiences within the constraints of COVID-19 safety precautions.

The Donmar Warehouse in London came up with its own solution to this problem with an audio adaptation of "Blindness," which centres on a mass epidemic that robs people of their vision. The production brought theatregoers back to the West End during its run in August and September.

Theatre impresario David Mirvish is hoping to duplicate this success across the pond.

"Its a first step to re-energizing the theatre community here, offering much-needed hope to arts workers and audiences alike," Mirvish said in a statement.

Mirvish Productions is hoping to host 100 presentations of "Blindness," with the audience for each 70-minute show capped at 50 people, said sales and marketing director John Karastamatis.

That amounts to roughly 5,000 available tickets over the five-week engagement or the equivalent of two-and-half sold-out performances at the 2,000-seat Princess of Wales Theatre.

"It's more expensive to put on (the presentation) than the money that will come in," said Karastamatis, noting that the production will put many technicians and theatre staff back to work.

"But David Mirvish feels it is important, because it is a toe in the water to give some hope to the artists, to the arts workers, to the technicians, and frankly, to the audience, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel."

The audience will be seated on the stage, which is 100 feet wide and 60 feet deep, in singles and pairs, each separated by a two-and-a-half-metre circle. Karastamatis said the stage is equipped with a state-of-the-art air circulation system, which is designed to cool down high-wattage lighting equipment, but also provides ventilation. Scientists say proper ventilation can prevent respiratory droplets from lingering in the air and spreading the coronavirus.

English actress Juliet Stevenson will tell the story directly to the audience through their headphones as part of the show's immersive sound design. There will also be special lighting to give the sonic show some "visual flair," Karastamatis added.

"Blindness" is set to start on Nov. 17, but Mirvish says that date may change depending on local health and safety conditions.

The box office will open two weeks before the premiere, said Karastamatis. Tickets will cost $49 for Mirvish subscribers, and $59 for the general public.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020.

By Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press

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Kudos and kicks: The return of jury duty; White Cane Day urges awareness – Naples Daily News

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Editorial Board, Naples Daily News Published 6:00 a.m. ET Oct. 10, 2020

A judge's gavel rests on a book of law.(Photo: File photo)

Kudos to jury duty.

Or should it be a kick?

Whether a bane to everyday life or a blessing of democracy and justice, jury trials have resumed in Collier County.

Jury trials in Lee County started the week of Sept. 14.

In response to the public health emergency, the Florida Supreme Court and the 20th Judicial Circuit suspended or limited in-person procedures and services including criminal and civil jury trials earlier this year. The 20th Judicial Circuit is gradually authorizing the resumption of services, which includes a handful of felony and misdemeanor jury trials in Collier County beginning Tuesday.

Jury trials are a vital part of our justice system and its great to see them restored in Collier County, said Collier County Clerk of Courts Crystal Kinzel. If you receive a summons, know that you are crucial to the restoration of our court system. I am grateful for your service.

People entering the courthouse, including potential jurors, are required to follow mandatory safety measures. Those measures include wearing a face mask at all times, a brief health screening that will include a temperature scan and maintaining six feet social distancing.The courts have also authorized COVID-19 related juror excusals and postponements.

To view up-to-date juror information, visit the Clerks jury duty page at https://app.collierclerk.com/court-divisions/civil/jury-duty.

Kudos to Lighthouse of Southwest Florida.

The organization serving the vision impaired reminds everyone Oct. 15 is White Cane Safety Day, which has been observed in the United States since 1964. White Cane Safety Day celebrates the achievements of people with blindness and vision loss.

A white cane is an important mobility tool as well as the symbol of independence. White canes were introduced in the 1930s as a way of assisting blind pedestrians to travel independently. They also helped motorists identify and yield to people using the white cane, and they have been protected by law in the United States since that time. Canes were painted white to be more easily visible.

Lighthouse of Southwest Florida is a vision rehabilitation center serving Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties. Orientation and mobility training is one of many services offered by Lighthouse of Southwest Florida. The team of professional staff compassionately helps people of all ages, with blindness and vision loss, to achieve goals for independence.

The mission of the Lighthouse of SWFL is to enable people of all ages living with a visual impairment or blindness to remain independent, active, and productive in society.

For more information, visit the groups web site at http://www.lighthouseswfl.org, or call (239) 997-7797.

Kudos to the Lee County School District.

The district is opening Parent University for the 2020/2021 school year with the first classes this month. The goal of the program is to inform and engage parents and guardians as partners, advocates, and lifelong teachers in their child's education through a series of educational courses.

Sessions will be held the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. on the School Districts Facebook page and YouTube channel. Parents can graduate from Parent University by attending 75% (6 sessions) of the scheduled learning sessions during a school year.

To receive credit towards a graduation certificate, parents and guardians should RSVP by filling out the registration form or emailing ParentUniversity@LeeSchools.net, watch each program and then complete the survey provided after each program.

(Brent Batten wrote this for the Naples Daily News editorial board.)

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Union deal on wage theft ‘major concession’ – The Australian Financial Review

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Mr McKenzie said in the IR talks unions had recognised that payroll software to monitor compliance could address underpayment issues and award complexity but also "accepted a 'reg tech' solution would take years".

"And when you're dealing with an economic recovery you need something to deal with in the interim," he said.

University of Melbourne professor in labour law John Howe said "it seems a major concession by the ACTU".

"But if it's coupled with an avenue of informal resolution of these matters with the Fair Work Commission then I can see there is trade-off there, where they get something that is going to benefit both employers and workers because it's a much lower-cost administrative option," he said.

Unions have previously advocated for a fast and low-cost small claims jurisdiction, like the commission, in which underpayment victims can overcome "access to justice" hurdles in getting backpay.

However, Professor Howe said the big issue with immunity in return for backpay would be distinguishing between employers who are just making inadvertent payments and what would be "wilful blindness".

"There are obviously a lot of businesses where there is an inadvertent error but we know there are also a lot of employers where wage theft is part of their business model," he said.

"What are you going to put in place so those businesses don't leverage the 'inadvertent' loophole?"

The "coming together" of employers and unions also largely formalises what regulators and the courts already do in practice.

When underpayments are in error, rather than reckless or deliberate, regulators will not take legal action and judges use their discretion to not impose civil penalties on a business.

"This will take away the need for that discretion," Mr McKenzie said.

"That's fair enough but at the same time we need to see commensurate improvements in terms of simplicity of award payment structures."

United Workers Union, representing hospitality, and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, for retail, declined to comment.

However, Josh Cullinan, secretary of the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union, which is not part of the ACTU, said he found the concession "bewildering", saying it merely represented the status quo and was unlikely to provide an enticement for employers to make faster back-payments.

"Every week we deal with underpayments, some of it deliberate, some of it not, and the vast majority of it gets resolved by the wages being paid and there is no litigation against the employer ... but it's happening because there is a penalties regime," he said.

"It's baffling that an organisation that purports to represent workers would suggest limiting penalties or their application."

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Orbis Celebrates 20th Anniversary in India on World Sight Day – PRNewswire

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

20 Years of Impact in India

Orbis has made far-reaching impact for children in particular during the past two decades in India, one of the first countries where Orbis established a local office.

"When our work began, pediatric ophthalmology was not yet seen as a distinct specialty in India, but with the country having the highest number of blind children in the world, it has been critically important to focus on building the skills of eye care teams to meet the unique needs of children's eye health," said Dr. Danny Haddad, Chief of Programs at Orbis International. "This World Sight Day, we're proud to celebrate all of our partners in India who have made remarkable progress in the fight against avoidable blindness."

When Orbis began working in India, there was only one eye care center for every 100 million children across the country. Orbis has since developed a comprehensive network of 33 Children's Eye Centers across 17 states and 3 Pediatric Ophthalmology Learning and Training Centers, each able to serve around 20 million children.

In 2016, Orbis launched its REACH program, which ran through 2019 and addressed uncorrected refractive error (the need for glasses), which can make it difficult to succeed in school. The program was implemented across 15 districts in eight states to provide comprehensive eye care to over four million school-aged children. Ultimately, through the REACH program, Orbis screened nearly five million children, prescribed over 159,000 pairs of glasses, performed nearly 1,800 surgeries, and trained nearly 72,000 eye care professionals.

In total, over the past two decades, the organization has conducted more than 17.5 million pediatric eye screenings, performed 103,000 surgeries on children, and hosted 180,000 ophthalmic trainings completed by doctors, nurses, community health workers and others.

Report on the Status of Child Eye Health in India

In conjunction with the anniversary, Orbis India is releasing The Status of Child Eye Health in India: A Comprehensive Report. Key takeaways from this report include:

"While we know there is much progress still to be made, we and our partners are looking forward to the work ahead and improving eye health for even more children across the country," said Dr. Rishi Borah, Country Director for Orbis India. "In the years to come, we plan to expand our reach even further, focusing on ensuring that more people can access the care they need in their own communities and on leveraging technology like Cybersight to accelerate our training of eye care teams."

The full report can be read online here.

India Virtual Flying Eye Hospital Program

Orbis's Flying Eye Hospital is the world's only fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft. For nearly four decades, the Flying Eye Hospital has traveled the world delivering best-in-class training for eye care professionals in areas with the greatest need. This year, the plane was scheduled to make its 19th visit to India since 1988, but due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Orbis will instead offer a virtual Flying Eye Hospital program for Indian eye care professionals. The program will be carried out through Cybersight using a combination of pre-learning modules, recorded and live lectures and discussion sessions a model that Orbis launched earlier this year and has also offered for eye care professionals from Bolivia, Cameroon, Chile, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Peru and Zambia.

Beginning later this month, the India program will offer four courses on medical retina procedures related to diabetic eye disease, cataract surgery, ophthalmic nursing and biomedical engineering. The program will be available for 160 eye care professionals, including ophthalmologists and residents, nurses, and biomedical engineers and technicians, from Orbis's partner institutions across the country.

In an especially innovative model, the cataract surgery course will include remote simulation training. Participants will receive artificial eyes on which to practice their surgical techniques, following interactive sessions with Orbis Volunteer Faculty (medical experts). Participants will then upload video recordings of themselves completing the procedures, using surgical microscopes in socially distanced stations in their local hospitals, for evaluation and feedback from Volunteer Faculty. Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness worldwide.

About Orbis International

Orbis is a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for nearly four decades. Orbis transforms lives by delivering the skills, resources and knowledge needed to deliver accessible quality eye care. Working in collaboration with local partners, including hospitals, universities, government agencies and ministries of health, Orbis provides hands-on ophthalmology training, strengthens healthcare infrastructure and advocates for the prioritization of eye health on public health agendas. Orbis operates the world's only Flying Eye Hospital, a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft, and an award-winning telemedicine platform, Cybersight. For the past nine consecutive years, Orbis has achieved Charity Navigator's coveted four-star rating for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency, placing Orbis in the top 3% of U.S. charities. To learn more, please visit orbis.org.

MEDIA CONTACTKristin Taylor[emailprotected]

SOURCE Orbis International

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Top 10 Best Occlusion Training Bands 2020 – Best gaming pro

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

We had lately heard the rumors that Apple was trying to revive the MagSafe branding, which prior to now was sometimes reserved for the corporates laptop computer chargers. Seems the rumors had been right as a result of at Apples iPhone 12 occasion, the corporate has introduced a brand new magnetic wi-fi charging system for the iPhone 12 which theyre calling MagSafe as effectively.

In contrast to the AirPower charging mat, plainly Apple shall be counting on magnets to wirelessly cost its new iPhones, much like how the charging system utilized by the Apple Watch. It will assist take care of points like customers not putting their cell gadgets over the charging coils, resulting in a variety of fidgeting and generally not realizing that their gadgets arent being charged.

Nonetheless, this MagSafe charging system isnt nearly a charger, it can additionally apply to each first-party and third-party equipment. Apple has unveiled a bunch of recent official instances designed for the iPhone 12 will include magnets constructed into them. Which means customers can use the MagSafe charger via the covers.

What this additionally means, and has been confirmed by Apple, they wont be delivery energy adapters with the brand new iPhones. Apple claims that by not together with the chargers, they will cut back the quantity of packaging they use, which in flip signifies that extra iPhones can match on a single pallet, thus permitting them to ship extra iPhones directly.

There may be at present no phrase on how a lot the brand new MagSafe charger will price or its official equipment, so well simply have to attend and see.

Filed in Apple >Cellphones. Learn extra about iPhone, Iphone 12 and Wi-fi Charging.

Tech specialist. Social media guru. Evil problem solver. Total writer. Web enthusiast. Internet nerd. Passionate gamer. Twitter buff.

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The Genesis of Protect Culver City and Measure B – Culver City Observer

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

By Ron Bassilian, president of Protect Culver City

Shortly after midnight on June 25 2019, Councilmembers laid bare their plans to phase in rent control. At that late hour, a number of us gathered outside Council chambers, determined something must be done. That was the genesis of Protect Culver City.

What should concern everybody is: nobody had run on this issue. Now, they were now fully obeying the demands of some obscure group nobody had heard of.

It followed their infamous inauguration - a Brown Act violation that merited a correction. As goes the inauguration, so goes the tenure. We realized rent control would not be our only -- or even -- our primary issue. This issue was a council that had gone rogue.

Over the following 15 months, we embarked on uncharted waters. We picked up new hot issues that left residents feeling this Council did not care about them.

When Council developed the unwritten policy to allow transients to live under Venice/405, we represented local residents, tracked the crime spike, and demanded answers.

When the Am Vets building at Veterans Park came up for demolition, we mobilized the residents to say it should remain park space and not converted into residences.

The George Floyd protests led to similar calls by an aggressive minority to defund Culver City Police Department. By this time, we were able to sound the alarm citywide, and mobilize our Defend Dont Defund campaign.

In each of these issues, Council showed a 4-1 blindness toward any resident concerns.

This blindness is why we drafted Measure B the way we did. It was never meant as a statement for or against rent control, but as a simple demand Council let us have the final word on it. We could have a proper citywide conversation about the issue, and let people decide if its a good idea for our city. Other cities like Santa Monica took this route.

The four opposing councilmembers ignored our repeated pleas to put their rent control on the ballot. They are now treating this measure as a de facto repeal of rent control, scaring people with bugbears of waves of evictions and skyrocketing rents if our measure were to pass. All false. Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti said vacancies are at a record 20% because of the Covid crisis. Meanwhile, we have statewide rent control and ample Covid emergency tenant protections. Measure B leaves all of these in place.

These councilmembers have also painted us as some outsider funded organization, which is unfortunate. Our Yes on B supporters page shows how homespun we are, and accurately reflects our public record of contributors. When you threaten residents homes and livelihoods, they will pool their resources to make sure that doesnt happen.

Whether through Measure B, or police funding, or the other issues we stand for, we are presented with a clear question: Do we stand up for our right to determine the direction of our city? Or do we blindly place our fate in the hands of a council, which is blind to public sentiment and has an obvious outside agenda?

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Fish tank favourite zebrafish could hold the key to curing blindness in humans – The Sun

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

THE zebrafish a popular addition to many fish tanks may hold the key to curing blindness.

Scientists found the fish can regrow body parts, including retinas.

2

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Damage to cells in the retina, light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, is one of the most common causdes of blindness.

The fish can repair the optic nerve carrying vital information to the brain in just a week.

Zebrafish share around 70 per cent of their genes with humans.

And because their flesh is nearly transparent during development, researchers can observe their internal organs.

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US research showed a reduction in a chemical in the fishs brain triggered cells into action.

Prof James Patton said: These cells then migrate to damaged retina and differentiate into whatever is needed for repair.

It is hoped one day, under the care of their doctor, patients will simply be able to grow new retinas - just like the zebrafish.

GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAILexclusive@the-sun.co.uk

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Family raise awareness of rare condition in support of Elsie, 2 – Gazette

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

A LANDMARK will be turned yellow to mark Blindness Awareness Day in support of little Elsie Steinbach.

The two-year-old, who regularly visits the Clacton Pier with her family, was diagnosed with an underdeveloped optic nerve when just four and a half months old.

Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH) is a very rare condition and was formed in early pregnancy.

It means Elsie has a severe visual impairment and she has her own Facebook page to raise awareness and combat blindness with her latest fundraiser topping 10,000.

Elsie, who lives in Basildon with parents, Hayley and Zak, and the family has a caravan in Harwich.

Along with her Auntie Kerrylea Collins and her family, they go to Clacton Pier about once a month.

It was Kerrylea who contacted the pier to make a request for the lighting to be turned yellow on Thursday, October 8.

It has been very difficult for my sister and brother-in-law but along with Elsie they have done amazingly well as a family, she said.

Now they are trying hard to raise awareness and money for research.

Elsie loves the pier and feels safe there with her cousins.

"We will all be going to see it lit up yellow as this is a shade she can recognise.

Fundraising has been particularly hard this year due to Covid so the pier doing this for Elsie and us all as a family is really a lovely thing to help raise awareness.

Elsie goes to pre-school in Basildon where she is doing well with one-to-one help.

Pier director Elliot Ball said it is a pleasure to be able to support the family.

We love to hear from our customers, and they are all important to us, he added.

Little Elsie is battling to cope with her condition, and we are delighted to be able to back her by turning our lights yellow.

"They will remain that colour until October 11.

Read more from the original source:
Family raise awareness of rare condition in support of Elsie, 2 - Gazette

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A tale of wilful blindness – The Shift News

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

Electrogas director and shareholder Paul Apap Bologna was cautioned several times by the Board of Inquiry looking into journalist Daphne Caruana Galizias assassination as he told the judges he was unaware of a number of factors tied to Electrogas, some of which had been in the public domain for several months if not years.

Apap Bologna said he did not know why prime murder suspect Yorgen Fenech had resigned from Electrogas in November 2019 and that he was unaware of the reason for Azerbaijani-British national Turab Musayevs resignation in December 2019 both happened at a time when protests were being held daily in Malta following revelations of links between Caruana Galizias death and the Electrogas project.

He also said he did not know that Electrogas had gone into default, despite it being mentioned in the Auditor Generals report. Apap Bologna said that he did not read the Auditor Generals report in its entirety. The Board of Inquiry was incredulous, with Judge Abigail Lofaro warning him repeatedly that he was under oath.

How do you not know the conclusions of the report? You have a right to disagree with it, but do not tell me that you do not know! Judge Emeritus Joseph Said Pullicino said in disbelief.

You dont care, it doesnt bother you. Thats a logical conclusion, Judge Lofaro added.

Asked about whether Electrogas had confronted Fenech after the media reported that he was the owner of 17 Black, Apap Bologna said that they had asked Fenech if 17 Black was his and he did not answer.

A director is involved in a transaction and youre asking about his involvement and he isnt answering you! Said Pullicino stressed.

This is incredible, Im sorry, Judge Lofaro said.

They were media accusations, Apap Bologna said.

He also told the Board that he was not aware of the contents of a statement issued by Gasan saying that they are seeking to exit the project. He said that they had not discussed the statement.

You are business partners, you are family, and he doesnt tell you, said Lofaro, who grew increasingly frustrated throughout the sitting. Apap Bolognas wife is a member of the Gasan group.

On several occasions, the Electrogas director told the Board that he will need to check and get back on basic questions related to operations and financials.

He repeatedly denied having presented the project to the Labour Party prior to the Party winning the elections in 2013 and the energy project being one of the main electoral promises.

He told the Board that he had presented a research paper, drawn up with the help of a friend in the electricity generation sector overseas, in 2007 to the then-Nationalist administration, including to John Dalli. Yet the project did not move forward with the administration and it was eventually shelved, Apap Bologna said.

It is not the first time that Dallis name has cropped up in connection to the Electrogas project. Dalli had been one of the faces published by Caruana Galizia in her first mention of 17 Black. Dallis sister, Anna Fenech, is also a shareholder in the company.

Asked whether Fenechs company New Energy Supply Ltd, which holds 8.17% of the project over and above the other families shares was a vehicle for kickbacks, Apap Bologna replied that Fenech had requested that share as compensation for dedicating his time to the project.

Apap Bologna denied contributing money to the Labour Party prior to the election and said that the first time they presented the project to the Labour Party was following statements on the matter by disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi in January 2013.

It was then that he spoke to Fenech about it since the Fenech family has the team, the experience with project management as well as the financial means.

Yet it was pointed out to him by the lawyers representing the Caruana Galizia family that the financials Mizzi presented were very specific and matched the proposal he had presented in previous years. The fact that the project was put together in six weeks including tech giant Siemens and Gasol was also noted.

Apap Bologna told the Board that it was Gasol that got SOCAR and Siemens on board. He did not have any qualms about the Azerbaijani interest since they were traders in oil and were introduced by Gasol, whom he trusted.

Did Apap Bologna know of Gasols financial problems? Again, no.

In a post following the sitting, former PN General Secretary Paul Borg Olivier retorted that it was in 2009 that Apap Bologna had approached him and that at that time research he had done on Gasol showed them to be very shady, to say the least.

Borg Olivier said Apap Bologna had mentioned a different year in a bid to distance the meeting to a time before Joseph Muscat became Leader of the Opposition.

Apap Bologna insisted that he was not aware of Fenechs relationship with former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Muscat.

That sounds naive, but anyway, be that as it may, said Lofaro.

Apap Bologna said he got to know about the relationship between Fenech and Schembri/Muscat well after the bid.

Did you not question it? asked Comodini Cachia.

Asked what action was taken, Apap Bologna said they spoke to Fenech and after allegations started an audit, which was also encouraged by their auditors PWC.

Following the Panama Papers, Apap Bologna said they were assured by the directors that there was no wrongdoing.

The former prime minister, his chief of staff and the minister who was the face of the Electrogas project were forced to resign.

Continue reading here:
A tale of wilful blindness - The Shift News

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