About Indian Optometry Federation
Optometry is a health-care profession concerned especially with examining the eye and correcting vision. The diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures, as well as the diagnosis of related systemic conditions are fundamental aspects of optometric practise. Specialty areas of optometry include contact lenses, low vision and visual rehabilitation, pre- and post-operative eye care, emergency eye care services, and the use of pharmaceuticals in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease. Optometrists also provide referrals for specialist treatment of diseases and disorders detected during examination.
In the developed world, optometrists are the first line of defence against blindness – this is not the case in India. Optometry has existed for many years in India without official recognition, which has restricted the growth of the profession and awareness of the services it can provide in the general community. The result is an inadequate number of practitioners and available services to treat the immense number of blind people in India.
Over the years individual optometry associations have been formed with the goal of gaining recognition for the profession. A multitude of bodies has diluted the potential influence the profession could have on promoting the necessary legislative changes for this to occur.
The need for a centralised peak body which could speak on behalf of all these organisations prompted the establishment of the Indian Optometry Federation (IOF). By acting as a single voice for all optometry associations in India, the IOF aims to raise public awareness of the profession and achieve official recognition. It also seeks to boost the entire eye care system throughout the country and integrate it with.
In its first year the IOF set up an office, chose its office bearers and completed the legal formalities needed to form a federation. The IOF was publically launched on the 29th of January 2011 at the 35th All India Optometry Conference.
The Federation is growing rapidly and has accomplished much already. With great minds like Professor Brien Holden, a globally recognised leader in the field, inaugural President Mr. Rajesh Wadhwa and Mr. Rajbir Berwal, General Secretary of the National Ophthalmic Association, driving the growth and reach of the federation, the IOF is optimistically working towards achieving its goals.