Volk’s Terry Cooper Joins Mission to Uganda to Prevent Blindness

Terry will bring the Volk’s Pictor Plus portable imaging capability to underserved population

On Friday, April 24th, Terry Cooper (Volk’s Regional Manager for Europe) will embark on a 10 day charitable mission to Uganda. The Vision 2020 Links team, a group of ophthalmologists, orthoptists, and nurses from the Royal Free Hospital in London lead by consultant ophthalmologist Clare Davey, is on a mission to reduce preventable blindness in this underserved nation.

Volk’s Pictor Plus handheld digital imager will be used primarily for diabetic retinopathy exams, as it delivers high quality retinal images with a 40 degree field of view of the fundus. It will also be used for pediatric retinoblastoma screening–particularly critical as the incidence of this childhood cancer in Uganda is much higher than that of the UK (1-2 cases referred per week in in one clinic alone in Uganda, compared to 50-60 per year in the UK).

“I first learned about the Uganda trip when I met Clare Davey at an ophthalmology congress,” explains Terry. “As I learned the scope of the project, I realized that Pictor Plus would be great tool for the physicians on this mission. What’s more, I have a personal interest in charitable activities, so my involvement on Volk’s behalf really came together organically.”

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Terry has spent this week in training with the Vision 2020 team. Here, a Vision 2020 team member practices a retinal exam using the Pictor Plus.

The portability of the Pictor will be a huge boon for the mission, as screenings will take place both in a hospital setting in the capital city of Kampala and in a more rural clinic located in Mbarara near the border of Rwanda. The extremely compact Pictor weighs in at just one pound. The Pictor, its accessories, and a laptop with DR screening software will travel in a standard sized backpack outfitted with a solar panel for field use.

The entire Pictor Plus system fits in a solar powered backpack.

The entire Pictor Plus system fits in a solar powered backpack.

Terry will be sending back dispatches from the field as he’s able and we’ll be documenting his trip. Like Volk Optical on Facebook (Volk Optical), or follow us on Twitter (@VolkOptical) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/volk-optical) to follow Terry’s journey.