2020 Frans Oosterhof Travel Grant – NCC, The Netherlands

The Optical Foundation’s 2020 Frans Oosterhof Travel Grant to attend the 2020 Netherlands Contact Lens Congress (NCC) in Veldhoven, Netherlands was awarded to:

Miss Asantewa Aboagye MacCarthy a level 500 Optometry student at the University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana; and
Mr Isaiah Osei Duah Junior a level 500 Optometry student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

These two students were selected out of a total of 15 applications (8 female and 7 male students) judged by The Optical Foundation Advisory Committee. The selection criteria included academic record, work/research experience, leadership potential and evidence of volunteering in the community.

The Optical Foundation would not have been able to offer these two grants if it weren’t for a hand full of individuals, who have generously pledged to personally donate their NCC speaker fee, which they receive for presenting at the congress. It is with immense gratitude that we would like to acknowledge the following people for making this possible: Carolina Kunnen, Maria Markoulli, Vincent Molkenboer, Erich Bauman and Karolien Elving.

Miss Asantewa Aboagye MacCarthy‘s aspiration is to become an outstanding professor of Optometry and ocular health researcher, who will train, and mentor research and discovery-minded Optometrists all over world. She hopes to explore areas such as binocular vision, contact lenses, and occupational Optometry.

Mr Isaiah Osei Duah Junior first visited an eye clinic after a seemingly hopeless struggle to read math problems on the board. A simple pair of spectacles changed his perception of the world as blur and bleak to brightly-colored. It sparked his motivation to study optometry to understand the mechanism underlying his own vision loss, as well as to help others facing similar challenges. Now he aspires not only to help resolve the vision problems of others in a clinical setting, but also to become a research professor and address these problems at a mechanistic level. This motivation is evident in his research into the prevalence and treatment patterns of Ophthalmia neonatorum, as well as the role of diet on diabetic eye disease.