Global Head of Advocacy and Partnerships at OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation
Professor Kovin Naidoo is aGlobal Head of Advocacy and Partnerships at the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation and the former CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute. He is an academic, former anti- apartheid activist and political prisoner, optometrist and an internationally celebrated public health leader. His professional life has been dedicated to delivering eye care to people in need.
Professor Naidoo is Honorary Professor of Optometry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), and Adjunct Professor at University of New South Wales, Australia. He has published extensively in epidemiology and public health. More recently he served on the 2019 WHO World Report on Vision editorial committee. Recognizing the need to develop research capacity in Africa, Prof Naidoo initiated the formation of the African Vision Research Institute (AVRI). Prof. Naidoo is a former member of the World Council of Optometry Executive committee; Founder and Chair of African Vision and former Chair of the Red Cross Air Mercy Services board of Trustees among his many esteemed affiliations. He is the founder of the Our Children’s Vision Campaign that aimed to reach 50 million children by 2020 and brought together more than 100 organisations and professional associations.
Prof Naidoo is a Fulbright Scholar, was elected as an Ashoka Fellow and a Schwab Fellow. He was jointly awarded with Professor Brien Holden, the Schwab Social Entrepreneur Award for Africa 2010 at the regional World Economic Forum in Tanzania in recognition of their ability to merge business acumen with social causes. The American Academy of Optometry awarded him the Essilor Award for outstanding contributions to Optometry in 2010, and the British College of Optometrists an honorary fellowship in 2009 for his contribution to the development of optometry in Africa and the developing world. He was African Optometrist of the Year in 2002, then International Optometrist of the Year in 2007. In 2016 he received the Henry B. Peters Memorial Award in Public Health and Environmental Vision from American Academy of Optometry and in 2017, received the distinguished Prevention of Blindness (POB) Shield Lecture award from the Saudi Ophthalmology Society. Most recently, Prof Naidoo has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry. In 2019 the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry and Optometry Association of Philippines honoured him with the Inaugural Claro M Cinco APOC Leadership Advocacy Award. Prof. Naidoo has also been declared the 2022 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Honour as well as the Humanitarian Award-the Lighthouse Award at Salus University.
Eyecare in the Changing World: Scaling Up for Impact
Kovin Naidoo, PhD, OD
Professor, Global head of advocacy and partnerships, OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation and former CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute
The World Health Assembly Resolutions, The UN Resolutions, The World Report on Vision, and the growing recognition by non-eye care actors of the importance of good vision, have catapulted Refractive Error in particular, and eye care in general, onto the center stage of global health.
Given this context and the growing unmet needs in eye care and the changing ecosystem of optometry and optics the sector must be both receptive and responsive in order to remain relevant.
This lecture will emphasize the latest global evidence on eye health challenges and the global commitments of the public-private sector to make eye care accessible, equitable, affordable, and effective for everyone, everywhere in the world. This lecture will provide an overview of the achievements and evidence of remaining challenges and opportunities for improved eye care worldwide. It will locate Eye health as a global political, health, and development priority and discuss the central role that optometrists and opticians can proactively play within their professional associations, together with other health professions, and with their governments to achieving the scale that is demanded of us.
Key issues to be addressed are:
How do we scale up refractive services to the next level and create access for everyone?
How do we deploy public health strategies to protect our children from the looming myopia crisis?
How do we develop an integrated approach that brings all sectors together to achieve our goal (systems approach)?
How do we mobilise technology to drive this scale without undermining the role of optometrists and opticians or comprising quality?
How every practitioner, in every part of the globe, including in Europe, can become a part of this process to benefit our patients and societies?