More than 150 healthcare professionals from all over the world gathered at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for the launch of the Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium on Wednesday 5th November 2014. The Consortium is a collaboration between international eye-health organisations and academic institutions, and aims to strengthen eye health systems in low- to middle-income Commonwealth countries. The audience included officials from international Ministries of Health, ophthalmologists, diabetologists, and clinical and research fellows.
The session was opened by Dr Astrid Bonfield, CEO of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Consortium funders. Dr Bonfield presented the Trust’s commitment to supporting quality eyecare and prevention of avoidable blindness. Dr Matthew Burton, Director of the Consortium, then provided an overview of the Consortium and its programmes: research, fellowships and technology. Other speakers included Ms Marcia Zondervan, lead of the diabetic retinopathy network; Dr Andrew Bastawrous, co-founder of Peek, the portable eye examination kit; Dr Cova Bascaran, head of the Masters programme; Dr Daksha Patel, lead of the Open Educational Resources; Dr Nick Astbury, chair of the Consortium clinical fellowships; and Professor Sir Peng Khaw, who presented on behalf of OpenEyes, the electronic patient record system. The event was chaired by Professor Allen Foster, co-Director of the International Centre for Eye Health, where the Consortium is based.