A memorandum of agreement has been signed to establish the first School of Optometry in Haiti, representing a collaboration between I’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti, Brien Holden Vision Institute, Optometry Giving Sight, VOSH International and Charity Vision, with support from University of Montreal.
“This is a great moment in the development of eye health in Haiti,” Jean Claude Cadet, MD, dean of the faculty of medicine and pharmacy at I’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti, said in a press release from Optometry Giving Sight. “We are grateful to our international partners for helping us to realize our vision of establishing optometry as a profession in Haiti in order to improve access to primary eye care for the millions of people in need.”
Currently, only three optometrists and 58 ophthalmologists serve Haiti’s 10 million people, most of whom are located in the capital, representing a significant barrier to access of eye care.
The school will be offering a 5-year Bachelor of Vision Science degree and aims to graduate 16 optometrists per year.
The collaborators hope to have students begin in October.