VISION RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT
The African Vision Research Institute (AVRI) is an African-based institute which links institutions, organizations, academics and intellectuals in the pursuit of confronting the challenges of Africa’s eye health issues. The idea was conceived after a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting by Prof Kovin Naidoo, Dr. Hannah Faal, Dr. Daniel Etyaálé and Dr. Adenike Aboise who saw the need for an organization that focused on enhancing research capacity on the African continent and thereby positively impacting on publications in peer-reviewed journals by African researchers.
AVRI aims to reduce the burden of blindness in Africa by encouraging research activity among African scientists which is relevant to the control of eye diseases, human resource development and infrastructural capacity enhancement for increased eye care service delivery. The mission of the Institute is to develop research capacity and appropriate skills in an effort to eliminate visual impairment and avoidable blindness in Africa, in support of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight campaign initiated by the WHO and IAPB in 2000. This global campaign draws stakeholders involved in eye care to escalate and coordinate efforts towards eliminating avoidable blindness in the world by the year 2020.
The Institute is affiliated with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN); both organizations having a commitment to growing vision and eye research on the African continent. In addition to undertaking research, AVRI currently provides training in research methods; offers technical and logistical support on a range of research projects, assists post-graduate students to become skilled researchers and research writers; assists authors to communicate effectively and scientifically; promotes, undertakes, and sources resources (journal articles, funding, information, etc); and promotes publication of research findings. Additionally, the Institute disseminates research-related information to interested African researchers through its website, newsletters and publications.
AVRI also provides holistic support to postgraduate research projects, including assistance with writing protocols and proposals; advising on methodologies; designing of surveys/questionnaires; layout and content of conference abstracts, posters and presentations; sourcing publications and documents for research projects; and data entry and analyses in the form of descriptive reports.
Thus far, the Institute has made in-roads into developing linkages in East and West Africa and is currently pursuing North-South collaborative partnerships to strengthen the delivery of its mandate.