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New Year brings new eyesight in 2019 for rural dwelling people in Peru as Ulster University Professors help provide the gift of sight

14 January 2019

New Year brings new eyesight in 2019 for rural dwelling people in Peru as Ulster University Professors help provide the gift of sight

Ulster University is providing two eye surgeons based in Peru sponsorship of fees and free access to the online postgraduate diploma course in cataract and refractive surgery theory. This one-year course equips them with the knowledge and skills to undertake life-changing eye surgery.

Tara McMullen, Professor of Personalised Medicine at Ulster University and Dan Reinstein, Visiting Professor in Ophthalmology recently modernised Ulster’s online teaching syllabus and course content to ensure eye surgeons are trained in state-of-the-art innovative treatments and to the highest standards in refractive and cataract surgery.

The course was chosen and endorsed by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists London as the preparatory pathway for their Certificate in Laser and Refractive Surgery.

The Ulster University postgraduate course is one of the few in the world to provide comprehensive training in corneal laser refractive surgery. It comprises lectures, an extensive collection of fully narrated video-lectures and online supervised discussions of real life cases of refractive surgery with over 50 world-leading eye surgeons from Universities and private eye clinics around the world contributing to this first class learning experience.

Peru- based eye surgeons Dr Nathan Henson and Dr Christian Becker established a charitable eye clinic in Cusco, offering sight to people living in rural areas who would otherwise be left unable to gain surgical treatment. Both doctors are currently undertaking the Ulster University online course.

Dr Nathan Henderson said;

“We are extremely grateful to Professor McMullen and Ulster University to have this opportunity to learn new surgical skills that will help us to bring life changing surgical vision correction to the people of Cusco. So many people in Peru live without access to quality eye care. Completing this course will allow us to give people a better quality of life, new job opportunities, and hope for the future by giving them a new capacity to see and interact with the world around them.”

Professor of Personalised Medicine at Ulster University, Tara McMullen commented;

“The initiative in Peru offers life changing eye surgery to people living in rural areas who would otherwise be left unable to see or struggle daily with very limited vision. Unfortunately, over 620,000 Peruvians suffer from blindness and there is overwhelming demand for effective eye care and surgery.

I am privileged to work with this team of surgeons and delighted to be able to offer free education to Nathan and Christian, allowing them to study from their clinic location in Peru and access to our excellent cataract and refractive surgery teaching resources online. By raising their level of knowledge of the subject area and adding their surgical skills we are directly influencing the outcome of surgery for all the patients operated on in the Peru clinic.”

Dan Reinsten, Visiting Professor at Ulster University and Ophthalmology lead on the course commented;

“This development in Peru mirrors the London Vision Clinic Foundation self-sustaining cost-recovery non-profit refractive surgery unit in Nepal, which I established a number of years ago. It is very rewarding to see this successfully replicated for the people of Peru, my country of birth. Importantly, the impact of this work goes beyond the giving of eye sight, the financial model used allows for funds to run a much needed orphanage alongside the eye clinic.”


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