Audio Interview: Talking Public Health and Vision with Afua Oteng Asare

At the recent World Congress of Optometry and Academy 2019 Conference in Orlando, Florida, we had the privilege of sitting down with Afua Oteng Asare, the 2019 American Academy of Optometry Foundation’s Vision Impact Institute Ezell Fellow. As a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto, Afua is focusing her research on health services – a field that examines how people get access to healthcare, how much that care costs, and the outcomes when patients have access to quality care.

Listen to the full conversation:

Among the many topics we covered, these are a few noteworthy insights:

  • Afua’s background growing up in Papua New Guinea and Ghana very much influenced her decision to devote her career to vision.
  • As a practicing optometrist in Ghana, she saw many patients from the middle class and few from lower economic classes. This disparity became the driver for her vision research.
  • Afua believes that a lack of health services research has a negative impact on being able to plan for and provide programs and services.
  • This type of research is particularly relevant today as the World Health Organization’s recent Report on Vision states that no less than 2.2 billion people need correction and don’t have it. Lack of research on the availability and impact of health services is a key driver when it comes to providing access to vision correction for this population of people.
  • One challenge impacting vision care that more or better research could help improve: The scarcity of economic analyses on the cost-effectiveness of vision healthcare services and initiatives in children.

This audio interview can also be found on YouTube for those unable to listen via SoundCloud.

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