About this event

  • Date and time Thu 11 Feb 2021 from 6:00pm to 7:20pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Ophthalmology

This unique webinar takes a global perspective on the impact of COVID-19 on blindness, eye care services, and training. Specialists will illustrate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global ophthalmology and present the impact on ophthalmology services which will be followed by a panel discussion with experts in international eye health. 

During this webinar you will:

  • Illustrate the impact of COVID-19 on ophthalmology training globally.
  • Evaluate the different effects on funding for eye care and blindness prevention programmes around the world.
  • Describe the impact on non-communicable eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy and diabetic retinopathy screening.

  • Understand the impact of a global pandemic on important causes of childhood blindness.

The webinar will interest ophthalmologists and all eye health care professionals and also educationalists and those interested in global health, development, and training. 

This webinar is FREE for RSM members and all students and trainees.

20 x bursary places are available for eye healthcare professionals from LMIC countries. Please email ophthalmology@rsm.ac.uk with your hospital or workplace ID.

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Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. Late registrations will not be accepted.

Key speakers

Mr Will Dean

Consultant Ophthalmologist and Clinical Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Speaker's biography

Will Dean, PhD, FRCOphth, MEd is a Consultant Ophthalmologist in Cheltenham, UK; Clinical Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; and Honorary Associate Professor, University of Cape Town. He studied medicine in Leicester UK, and completed a Masters in Surgical Education at Imperial College London. He recently achieved a PhD in simulated ophthalmic surgical education in sub-Saharan Africa through the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Professor GVS Murthy

Vice President (South) Public Health Foundation of India, Hyderabad, India

Speaker's biography

Professor GVS Murthy is the Vice-President (South), Public Health Foundation of India & Director, Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad. He is also Professor, Public Health Eye Care & Disability at LSHTM, London. He established the first Department of Community Ophthalmology at AIIMS, New Delhi and later helped in setting up the South Asia Centre for Disability Inclusive Development, Hyderabad. He completed his MBBS from Guntur Medical College in 1979, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi in 1985 and MSc (Community Eye Health) from Institute of Ophthalmology, University College of London, UK. He worked as Medical Officer, WHO, Geneva on the Childhood Blindness Program and as M&E Consultant with UNAIDS South Asia earlier. Currently he is Technical Advisor to CBM, India, and Research Advisor to Mission for Vision, India, Member, Optometry Council of India. He is also a member of the WHO Technical Advisory Committee on School Reopening after COVID-19. He has also served on the Technical Advisory Group of WHO on Integrated Care for Older People, Technical Advisory Committee of WHO on School Health Services, Scientific Advisory Committee, Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, and WHO Consultative Committee on Monitoring & Implementation of Global Vision2020 activities and served as a member of the Indian Council for Medical Research Consultative Group on Disability. He was ranked among the top 2% research scientists of the world in 2020. He has received many awards and orations. He has contributed extensively to assessing the magnitude of blindness and disability in many countries including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He has published 275 in peer reviewed journals and contributed chapters to 15 books. He has supervised many PhD/MD/MSc/MPH students. He has been PI/Co-PI of 62 research and program grants from national and international funding agencies.

Professor Clare Gilbert

Professor of International Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Speaker's biography

Professor Clare Gilbert worked as an ophthalmologist in the UK for 10 years before joining the International Centre for Eye Health. She has thirty years of experience of research, providing technical advice, contributing to national and global policies and programme development and evaluation in relation to blinding eye diseases in children in low and middle income countries.

Mr Thulasiraj Ravilla

Executive Director, LAICO – Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai, India 

Speaker's biography

Thulasiraj Ravilla is an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management- Calcutta. After eight-years in Industry he joined Aravind Eye Hospital in 1981, to lead the administration as a member of its start-up leadership team. Aravind Eye Hospitals now annually handle over four and half million outpatient visits and perform over half million surgeries and other interventions. Over half of these patients receive care either free or steeply subsidized rates, through internal financing. In 1992, he co-founded Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology which has mentored over 360 hospitals in India and imparted management training to over 2,600 eye-care professionals from across the globe. Mr. Ravilla has been actively involved in several research activities, both clinical and operations research. He has authored/co-authored over hundred articles in peer reviewed publications, written book chapters and presented papers in several National and International forums. He has been an advisor on several national and international bodies. He was IAPB’s Southeast Asia’s Regional Chair and was Founder President of Vision 2020 India. He is or has been on the Board of Aurolab, Acumen Fund, Seva Foundation and Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta.


View the programme

Welcome and introduction

Mr Nick Astbury, Clinical Associate Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The impact of COVID-19 on ophthalmology surgical training worldwide

Mr Will Dean, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Clinical Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Impact of COVID-19 on community-based DR screening in India

Professor GVS Murthy, Vice President (South) Public Health Foundation of India, Hyderabad, India

Impact of COVID-19 on eye diseases of children

Professor Clare Gilbert, Professor of International Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

COVID-19 and impact on eye care funding

Mr Thulasiraj Ravilla, Executive Director, LAICO – Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai, India

Panel discussion
Close of meeting



Disclaimer: All views expressed in this webinar are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM.

Special rates for difficult times 
The RSM wishes to offer healthcare professionals continued learning opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. The RSM’s COVID-19 online events are available free of charge, while there will be small charges to register for other online education. These fees will enable the RSM to continue its programme of activities and will apply during the course of the pandemic. 

Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. Late registrations will not be accepted.

Webinar recordings will be available for registered delegates up to 30 days after the live webinar, via Zoom. 

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.

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