The Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium Five Year meeting was held from 26th to 29th March 2019 in London to celebrate the achievements of the Consortium and plan for future global eye health goals. The event marked the fifth year of the Consortium, which was established in 2014. More than 170 eye health experts from 31 Commonwealth countries gathered in London to discuss how eye health services can be strengthened and expanded across the Commonwealth.
To date, the Consortium has doubled the number of eye doctors with a PhD in Africa, provided over 20,000 health professionals with online training in eye health, and screened over 200,000 schoolchildren in Kenya using the smart-phone based vision testing tool, Peek.
Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, Vice-Patron of The Trust, attended the event and spoke with leading ophthalmologists and health professionals about their work which is changing the way eye care is delivered in some of the most under-resourced areas of the Commonwealth. Her Royal Highness also tried out specialist surgical training equipment to simulate eye surgery, which is being used to train eye doctors from all over the Commonwealth.
The following day Her Royal Highness hosted a reception at St. James’s Palace for the Consortium delegates, High Commissioners, policy makers and eye health experts to celebrate the achievements of global eye health leaders. Dr Simon Arunga, Consortium-funded LSHTM research fellow at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda, gave a speech on the impact the Consortium has had in Uganda and around the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium at St James’s Palace. © Theodore Wood Photography
Dr Will Dean (research fellow) and Dr Denise Kavuma (MSc PHEC fellow) demonstrate to HRH The Countess of Wessex specialist surgical training equipment to simulate eye surgery which is being used to train eye doctors from all over the Commonwealth. Photo credit: Tara Moore / The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust