Notable Accomplishments

1978 – Trinidad & Tobago – Establishment of the first secretariat of CCB.

Late 1970s to early 80s – Implementation of the Inter Island Eye Service. An itinerant program of Ophthalmologic services to islands, which did not have access to Ophthalmologic services.

1980 – Antigua & Barbuda – Relocation of secretariat from Port of Spain – Trinidad.

1980 – QEH-UWI Barbados – Commence training & deployment of indigenous Ophthalmologists to serve countries of the Eastern Caribbean & Guyana.

1980 Grenada – Convened the first regional quadrennial planning conference to develop a comprehensive approach to: Eye care; Education Services & Rehabilitation (Now, adjustment to Blindness Services).

1980 – Guyana – Established the first national itinerant education program for children who are blind; Initiative followed by the establishment of similar programs throughout the Eastern Caribbean & Belize.

1983 – Consolidated the annual meetings of the Inter Agency Coordinating Group (now V2020 Collaborating Group of INGOCGs).

1984 – Barbados – Convened the 2nd quadrennial planning conference of CCB.

1985 – Antigua & Barbuda – Hosted the first of several annual regional training courses for Rehabilitation Field Officers (now Adjustment to Blindness Technicians etc); trained more than 70 personnel to date.

1986 – Region-wide – Commenced implementation of a 3-year project to strengthen the institutional capacity of member agencies of CCB;

1987 – Region-wide – Begun implementation of a 3-year summer course for all 59 teachers working with children with blindness or visual impairment to achieve a standard level of technical knowledge in a body of specialist teachers, who were (mostly) untrained in special education techniques. The Tower Hotel in Guyana & the School for the Blind in Jamaica rotated as Summer Campuses for the 3-year project.

1989 – Jamaica – Established the Regional Diploma in The Education of Teachers of the VI Mico Teachers College. Trained more than 50 teachers to date.

1992 – St. Lucia – Implemented the first of several regional symposia to stimulate development of National Prevention of Blindness Committees and Programs

1994 – Region-wide – Commenced implementation of a series of regional and national workshop for women who are blind, Aimed at enhancing personal development and leadership skills among the women;

1990s – Provision of funding and technical assistance re the training of 255 Nurses in Guyana, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and The Grenadines in Primary Eye Care to deliver basic services to citizens at Health Centers and Clinics, and to refer cases requiring specialist attention to the appropriate level in the Health Care System.

1995 – Guyana – Commenced funding and otherwise facilitated development of OPD & surgical programs at the Georgetown & New Amsterdam Public Hospitals;

1998 – Guyana – Initiated negotiations with Office of the PM & the MOH re location of physical space for the establishment of a national spectacle project. Now established at The Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) with a supporting laboratory in the offices of Eye Care Guyana; supporting vision centers (Eye Clinics) in 10 public hospitals across Guyana. CCB is working with the Government of Guyana to establish an eye clinic in up to 25 regional, District and cottage hospitals.

2000 – Guyana – Formalized the establishment of the National Low Vision Center; now operating on the premises of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation; will be expanded to all eye clinics served by Optometrists.

2000 – Guyana – Initiated negotiations with Government of Guyana to develop cataract surgical programs (starting with the GPHC) on a cost recovery basis. Also received Cabinet clearance for project. Initiative, eventually replaced by an ORBIS-led initiative.

2000 (July) – Trinidad & Tobago – * Coordinating & participating in the launch of V2020 in the Caribbean Tobago. Resulting in special focus on: Cataract surgery; Management & treatment of glaucoma; Detection and treatment of diabetic Retinopathy; Treatment of conditions which could lead to blindness or visual impairment in children & Refractive Error & low vision services. All as a complement to education, training and other adjustment services for persons whose sight cannot be restored.

2001 – Secretariat – Formalized decision to establish a Resource Mobilization Unit within the Council’s Secretariat.2001 (July) – Nassau Bahamas – Relocation of the faculty of the V2020 Planning Module(University Of London) to train Senior Nurses, Doctors and Administrators of Member Agencies and Partners (from 8 countries) in Planning and Managing Community Eye Health Programmes.

2002 – Starting in Mandeville, Jamaica – Development & implementation of a cost recovery program supporting provision of cataract surgery in ten hospitals across the Caribbean- Program is at different stages of implementation.

2003 – Trinidad & Tobago – Regional Advocacy workshop – Developed and initiated a rights-based approach to certain of Council’s programming;

2004 – Commenced development of basic V2020 advocacy strategy requiring: Appointment of National Focal persons; Hosting of a regional symposium for National focal persons; Establishment or revamping of National Committees; Appointment of National Coordinator; Development & implementation of national plans and Programs.

2004 – (Barbados) – Commence training of National IT Instructors, to operate national training labs, as part of the Regional Information Technology Services for the visually impaired. IT labs providing basic IT training to persons who are blind now exist in 9 countries across the region.

2005 – Dominica – Implementation of a pilot in the screening for and treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

2005 – Guyana – Implementation of a pilot in vision screening in schools;

2005 – Dominica – Initiation of a pilot Diabetic Retinopathy screening

2005 – Jamaica – Commencement of a series of glaucoma KAP studies

2006 – Guyana – Commencement of regional training program for Refractionists (Trained to practice at level 2 of the World Council of Optometry’s 4-level scope of practice);

2007 – Commenced the deployment of Refractionists across CARICOM- Now serving: Community vision centres (primary and secondary level eye clinics) now operational in: Antigua-Barbuda; Belize; Guyana; Jamaica; and St. Lucia, with new programmes being prepared for: Haiti; St. Kitts-Nevis; St. Vincent and 2 additional health regions in Jamaica.

2007 – Caribbean-wide- Commence research toward establishment of The Caribbean School of Optometry, with the first campus scheduled for the University of Guyana.2008 – Commenced formal planning for the modernization of the partnership between CCB-Eye Care Caribbean & SightSavers.

2008 – Commenced development of the current Caribbean Vision 2020 project, in collaboration with SightSavers & The European Commission;

2009 – Commenced negotiations with the Faculty Board, University Of Guyana, reapproval and implementation of the 4-year Bachelors of Science in Optometry;

2010 – Commence implementation of the Caribbean Vision 2020 project in collaboration with SightSavers and the European Commission. Project has 5 primary target countries and ten secondary partners across CARICOM.

2010 – Facilitated the launch of the Bachelors of Science in Optometry – University of Guyana and continues to support the programme.

2010 – Met with the Prime Minister of Antigua-Barbuda and members of His Cabinet to discuss introduction of a basic package of eye health services in all Poly clinics in Antigua.

2011 – Organized and continue to implement the annual meeting of Vision 2020 Committees and their representatives from all 15 member countries of CARICOM.

2012 – Negotiated and received clearance from the Ministry of Health (Jamaica) to establish eye clinics in public hospitals across the Northeastern Health region of Jamaica.

2013 – Collaborated with the Government & people of Antigua to launch 3 community vision centres at Polly clinics in: Claire Hall; Grays Farm and Johnson’s Point.

2013 – Received Cabinet Decision from the Government of Antigua, to take over the Blackburn Building (Et Al) on a 25 years lease, multiple renewals.

2013 – Commenced discussion with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, regarding possible implementation of a Caribbean Diabetic Retinopathy screening and treatment programme;

2014 – Attended and witnessed the graduation of the first cohort of 22 Optometrists to have been trained at the University of Guyana, under a programme initiated and supported by the Caribbean Council for the Blind. Similar college and university-based training programmes are being considered for other sub regions across the Caribbean.

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