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Optometry in Moldova –
A dream came true

-This course it is a big step forward for our country in improving the methods of checking and corrections of refractive errors! Tatiana Ghidirimshi, Doctor of ophthalmology, Director Low Vision Centre and participant in the first ever course of optometry in Moldova. -Tatiana, are you happy with the course?  -I would like to tell everybody that I am very, very happy! This course it is one of my dream for improving my knowledge for my practice! It is so interesting and useful because I never before attended any course in Optometry, but we need it so much for our activity!

2014 03 Web Cusnir + Bendelic Optometri Kurs Chisinau Tatiana 5JPGFrom the opening of the first optometry course in Moldova. In the middle professor Bendelic and professor Cusnir. To the left Stephanie Looi from Brian Holden Vision Institute, Australia, and to the right, Hans Bjørn Bakketeig, optometrist and President of Hjelp Moldova.

 -Is the content new for you as well, already being a specialist and Doctor of ophthalmology? -Of course for me many things are known because I met Hans Bjorn many years ago and he has teached me a lot! But now after this course it will be easier, says Tatiana who also very much would like to mention that she is very proud of the teachers; Hans Bjørn from Norway and Michael and Stefanie from Brian Holden Vision Institute in Australia.

2014 03 Web HBB + to studentar Optometri Kurs Chisinau Tatiana 2The course takes place at the Medical University in Chisinau. Fifteen doctors, all specialists of ophthalmology, attend the course which consists of theory as well as practice. Modern equipment for assessment is delivered by Hjelp Moldova, and is of great importance for the students as such equipment is as good as non-existing in Moldova. Hans Bjørn Bakketeig, in the middle, is advisor and supervisor.

 -What will be the benefit of the course, for you and the other doctors? -After this course I will be more sure in prescribing astigmatism correction! Today I have asked some of the Moldovian doctors what the importance of this course and they said that it is very useful and important for them, and their low vision patients. It is so nice that at the course they can practice; on each other and on patients with refractive errors. Here is available, from “Hjelp Moldova Organization”, the best equipment like visual acuity tests, retinoscopy, phoropter etc.

2014 02 15 Utanfor UD Møte i OsloParticipants of introducing optometry in Moldova. (Picture taken outside the Department of Foreign Affairs in Oslo in November 2013). From left to right: Professor Cusnir and professor Bendelic from Medical University, Moldova, Stephanie Looi from Brian Holden Vision Institute/Australia, Anne Jervell, President of Norwegian Association of Optometry, Hans Bjørn Bakketeig, president of Hjelp Moldova, Bente Monica Aakre, Buskerud and Vestfold University College, Tatiana Ghidirimshi, Director of Low Vision Centre, Håvard Austad, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and  Luigi Bilotto, Brian Holden Vision Institute/Canada.

 -This is the first course of its kind ever in Moldova. What is the importance of this for ophthalmology in general in your country? -The course is very important because this knowledge is a fundamental one for ophthalmology. Especially it is very important for doctor ophthalmologist from our country because we do not have optometrist, and it means that ophthalmologists must check visual acuity, do retinoscopy and must do  correct correction of refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia).

Web Hans Bjørn TV JurnalHans Bjørn giving an interview with Moldovian JurnalTV.

Hans Bjørn Bakketeig says that everybody; students, instructors, professors and rector of the Medical University are very happy with the course. Discussions about future development of optometry education at university level in Moldova are already in progress, he states.   Text and phote: Kåre Ness/Tatiana Ghidirimshi