VISION RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT
Dr. Adenike Abiose
She was Professor of Ophthalmology at Ahmadu Bello University and Director of the National Eye Centre in Kaduna, Nigeria. She worked with colleagues for several years in the field trial and operational use of Mectizan® for onchocerciasis control. She has been involved in the work of the Nigerian National Blindness Prevention Programme, National Onchocerciasis Control Programme, the Onchocerciaisis Control Programme in West Africa, the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
She was awarded the Mectizan® Award in 2003 for commitment to onchocerciasis control at the national and international level. She graduated in Medicine from the University of Ibadan in 1967, was admitted a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1974 and Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons in 1975. She currently chairs the Neglected Tropical Diseases Committee of the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria.
Professor Kovin Naidoo BSc BOptom OD MPH, (Chairman of Board)
Professor Kovin Naidoo is an academic, former anti-apartheid activist, political prisoner, optometrist and an internationally celebrated public health leader. His dedication and commitment to social entrepreneurial efforts in addressing the needs of those less privileged are widely acknowledged by his peers and he has received numerous awards; to name a few: In 2006 he was elected an Ashoka Fellow; he is a Fulbright Scholar. Prof Naidoo was awarded a Doctorate of Optometry from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, was African Optometrist
of the Year in 2002, and International Optometrist of the Year in 2007.
He is a member of the World Council of Optometry Governing Board; an active participant in the World Health Organization Refractive Error Working Group; a member of the South African National Prevention of Blindness Committee; and of the medical committee of the National Bureau for the Prevention of Blindness.
Professor Naidoo is founder and Chair of the KwaZulu-Natal Eye Care Coalition which is establishing cataract surgical services in the public sector. As well as the Africa Chair of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and Global Programmes Director of the Brien Holden Vision Institute.
Dr Linda Visser (Director)
Dr Linda Visser is currently a Chief Specialist and Head of Department of Ophthalmology at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN). She has in excess of fifteen years ‘experience in clinical Ophthalmology, with a special interest in Vitreoetinal surgery, medical retina and uveitis. Dr Visser is enthusiastic human resource development and to this end has supervised both Masters and Doctoral students. In the past five years Dr Visser has authored and co-authored in a number of peer-reviewed publications.
Mrs Petronella Nichols (Director)
Dr Daniel Etya’ale
In his current role as executive director for IAPB Africa, Dr. Etya'ale evaluates ongoing VISION 2020 activities and assists national programs to align their goals with the aims and objectives of VISION 2020.
Previous to that, as VISION 2020's coordinator for Africa in October 1999, Dr. Etya'ale was seconded to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, where he was responsible for the promotion, development, implementation and coordination of VISION 2020 activities throughout Africa. This involved liaising
between NGDOs, WHO Regional Office, and the Ministries of Health in Africa.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Etya'ale was instrumental in developing Mectizan distribution projects in Africa and Central and Latin America as a member of the Mectizan Expert Committee and co-coordinator of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Non-Governmental Development Organization (NGDO) Group for Onchocerciasis Control. Mectizan is a drug used to treat Onchocerciasis or river blindness. He also evaluated Mectizan distribution and blindness prevention projects throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Etya'ale obtained his MD degree with distinction in 1977 from the Medical School of Yaoundé, Cameroon. After practicing for a number of years, he trained and earned a Diploma in Ophthalmology from Glasgow, Scotland's Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology. Dr. Etya'ale then returned to practice as the Medical Director of Enongal Presbyterian Hospital in Ebolowa, Cameroon, where he developed a comprehensive eye care delivery service for the entire Ebolowa district, created an outreach program, established secondary eye centres for cataract and glaucoma surgery, and trained general doctors in primary eye care. He also trained in Community Eye Health at the International Centre for Eye Health.
Operation Eyesight is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness in the developing world. It works with medical professionals and communities in Africa and India to help provide quality eye care programs and sustainable community development. Since 1963, through the support of its donors, millions of the world's poorest people have had their sight restored or protected.
Dr Hannah Bassey Faal
An ophthalmologist, Dr Hannah Faal has focused on the development of eye care programmes as a strategy to reduce blindness and to provide a comprehensive integrated eye care service within the general health service system. She is currently the Programme Development Adviser on health systems for Sightsavers.
The National Eye Care Programme of The Gambia which she developed over a ten year period demonstrated that a comprehensive programme, from community to tertiary level, integrated into primary health care and the health
structure at each level could drop the prevalence of blindness by 40% with an economic rate of return of 19%. This has provided the evidence and the impetus for eye care programming in manageable health administration units of under resourced countries. The programme also demonstrated what a nongovernmental organization, Sightsavers can achieve in partnership with government. The concepts contributed to the formation of Vision 2020 The Right to Sight , a global initiative of WHO and The International Agency for the Prevention Of Blindness, an agency of which she was President from 1999-2004.
In her work and in the many advisory roles, international and local, her experience is shared in the development of eye care programmes, the training of all levels of eye care workers, the design of operational research and application of results to programmes. Firmly putting the community perspective in the design of programmes has been a special commitment. Currently, her work is to demonstrate that making the paradigm shift from a medical sub specialty to public health and health systems using eye health as an exemplar will accelerate the delivery of health outcomes and development of communities.
Mr Khathutshelo Percy Mashige
Mr KP Mashige is currently the Head and Academic Leader of the Optometry Department at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, a Bachelor of Optometry (BOptom) from the former University of Durban Westville and an Advanced Certificate in Ocular Diseases and Pharmaceutical Application (CAS) from the New England College of Optometry (NEWENCO) in Boston, USA. He has completed a Master’s degree (MOptom) in Public Health Optometry and is currently registered for a PhD degree. His professional affiliations include the Health Professions
Council of South Africa and South African Optometric Association. Mr Mashige was a member of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) panel auditing Optometry schools in South Africa; the recommendations of the audit are used for policy guidelines in quality assurance and management. Mr Mashige was the Study Manager and co-investigator in the Refractive Error study in African children in South Africa and is currently a trustee of the Brien Holden Vision Institute. He is a Research Director at the African Vision Research Institute (AVRI). Besides several scientific peer-reviewed research publications, he has received several awards including a certificate of Service Recognition Award for the contribution to progress and standard achieved at University of KwaZulu-Natal and the International Centre for Eye Care Education certificate for excellence in teaching in their Train the Trainer programme as well as the prestigious SANPAD RCI scholarship (South African Netherlands Partnership on Alternative Development). Mr Mashige is a co-investigator in the SANPAD-funded study on the influence of socio-economic and environmental factors on the health status and quality of life of older persons in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition he is responsible for designing all the vision aspects of the study. Mr Mashige was been awarded the National Health Scholarship Programme in 2013. He has held several leadership positions including Chairmanship of New Germany School. He is also a Vice-Chair of the Pinetown District Ward Forum.
Mr Ronnie Graham
Ronnie has worked for Sightsavers since 1997, originally joining as the Regional Director for South Asia before moving into the same role in Sightsavers' Eastern, Central and South Africa office.
While he was a Regional Director, Ronnie realised that without adequate human resources within health, it was difficult to make significant achievements, and is looking forward to taking on the challenge that HRD presents in the developing world. His schedule is varied, Ronnie could be attending a regional meeting, analysing human resources health data, developing research proposals or
networking with other INGOs on any given day. Ronnie is a historian by training and studied in Scotland and Ghana. After working as an academic in Nigeria he joined VSO as a Country Director and worked in Belize, the Caribbean and Zambia. Prior to working at Sightsavers he worked for HelpAge International in Tanzania.
Dr Salim Karim
Dr Salim S. Abdool Karim is a clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist whose research interests are in microbicides and vaccines to prevent HIV infection, as well as implementing antiretroviral therapy in resource constrained settings. In addition to his faculty position as professor of clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School, he is pro vice-chancellor (Research), University of KwaZulu-Natal and Director of CAPRISA - Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa. Dr Karim recently led the NIH-funded HPTN 035 microbicide trial which revealed the potential of anionic polymer, PRO2000, in preventing HIV infection in women.
His clinical research on TB-HIV treatment has impacted and continues to shape the clinical management of co-infected patients. He has published widely on infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, measles and hepatitis B, and co-edited the textbook that is used extensively to teach epidemiology in South Africa. Dr Karim is chair of the WHO Scientific Advisory Group for Reproductive Health and is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV.