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Last chance to apply for Africa optometry project bursary

The nominations phase for a fund supporting optical students to visit Africa with Vision Aid Overseas closes next week.

Each year, the Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund (IAMF) and Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) offer two bursaries for 2nd year optical students (Glasgow – 3rd yr) to experience work in Africa through a grant made available by the Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians (FODO).

Amy outside the Eye Bank at Menelik II Referral Hospital, Addis Abba To mark the 50th anniversary of the fund the IAMF is offering two bursaries (worth £1700 each) to enable optometric students to join a VAO assignment travelling to Africa for two weeks during the summer of 2017.

Speaking about her experience visiting Ethiopia with VAO this summer, IAMF award winner Amy Gumbrell spoke about how her experience was a great opportunity to see how optical practise is carried out outside of the UK.  

The experience highlighted to me how extremely lucky and privileged we are in the UK for all the facilities and equipment we have so readily available, but also showed me a beautiful country and new culture with welcoming people who were so grateful to receive our help.”

During her time on the project Amy had an opportunity to carry out sight tests, witness tropical diseases and conditions rarely seen in the UK, observe surgeries carried out by an ophthalmologist and help teaching nurses basic refraction to improve their skills. She encouraged students to apply and have a chance to take part in a very rewarding project:

Teaching refraction to students My confidence and skills improved greatly over the trip; I was more challenged then I had ever been before… The fact that I was able to cope with this and still refract the large numbers of patients that the team did proved to me that a lot is possible if you put your mind to it and push your boundaries.”

Students are encouraged to fill out the application form and send it in before the deadline this weekend. 

Irvine Aitchison Application Form 2017 (word document)

Irvine Aitchison Application Form 2017 (pdf document)