New School of Optometry in Oaxaca, Mexico
Optometry Giving Sight hosted the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Benito Juarez Autonomous University of Oaxaca (UABJO), the Government of Oaxaca, Brien Holden Vision Institute and World Council of Optometry at the World Congress in Medellin Colombia, to establish the first school of Optometry in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico.
“Despite the existence of 14 optometry schools in Mexico at a university level, none of these are located in the south or southeastern parts of the country,” said Dr. Juan Carlos Aragon, Chairman of Optometry Giving Sight. “With a combined population of 20 million people, the provision of optometric services is very weak, resulting in a disproportionate percentage of the population being functionally blind or vision impaired due to uncorrected refractive errors.”
The goal of the collaboration is to develop a program that will locally produce degree trained optometrists. The School hopes to recruit 50 students per annum commencing in 2016, in what will be a 4-year degree.
“We are excited to be entering into this collaboration, which has the full support of the University and the Government,” said Lic. Eduardo Martínez Helmes, Rector of UABJO. “We are grateful for the support we have received from the Brien Holden Vision Institute in relation to the development of the curriculum, and look forward to working with Optometry Giving Sight to mobilize resources to develop the infrastructure for the School.”
Optometry Giving Sight is a registered Civil Association in Mexico and its National Committee is comprised of representatives from industry and the profession including Carl Zeiss Vision, CooperVision, Bausch + Lomb, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Marchon, Essilor, Alcon, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Imagen Optica, AMFECCO and Grupo Devlyn.
Photo caption: MOU Signing – 13 August, Medellin. Pictured left to right: Oscar Montfort, Imagen Optica; Enrique Contreras, General Manager CooperVision Mexico; Dr. Howard Purcell, Senior Vice President of Essilor USA; Carlos Palencia, CEO Zeiss Vision and Chairman of Optometry Giving Sight Mexico; Luisa Casasluque and Dr. Luigi Bilotto, Brien Holden Vision Institute; Dr. Juan Carlos Aragon, Chairman, Optometry Giving Sight; Professor Kovin Naidoo, Interim CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute; Susan Cooper, Past President of the World Council of Optometry; Lic. Eduardo Martínez Helmes, Rector of UABJO, and his team including project coordinator Cecilia Escobar; Clive Miller, CEO Optometry Giving Sight; and Álvaro Alcalá, President of AMFECCO.