Lesson 1: Welcome to the course

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Hello, and welcome to this course on global blindness–planning and managing eye care services. My name is Daksha Patel, and I’m the lead educator throughout this course.

In this course, we will describe the global picture of visual impairment and blindness and also look at the strategies that can be applied to manage
blindness at a local level. Each week, I will introduce you to the content. We
will use a range of activities, such as video, interviews with experts, reading
articles, doing quizzes, and also a case study for the application of learning.

In this first week, we will begin by describing some basic principles of
epidemiology and the WHO definition for visual impairment and blindness. And then using this information, we’ll begin by considering how big is this problem of visual impairment and blindness, where and who is affected by it, and what are the main causes?

In this week, we have a presentation by Professor Alan Foster in which he
highlights some of the lessons that were learned from the Gambia Eye Programme. We encourage you to participate in our discussion forums by posting your thoughts and reflections about the course and the learning, and also about your own experiences.