Global Reach

Through our research and implementation activities the St Andrews’ team has increased global ophthalmic capacity and mobilised knowledge in eyecare. Additionally, the development, evaluation, and implementation of Arclight in Africa is increasing diagnostic capacity and reducing unnecessary disability from blindness.

Increasing global ophthalmic capacity

With the areas of greatest burden of disease having the least access to diagnostic tools and training, the team’s research and implementation activities have focussed on extending the reach of Arclight globally. A university social enterprise established by the St Andrews team sells the Arclight in the UK and other high-income countries, using profits to support distribution and training in some of the poorest countries worldwide. 

Mobilising knowledge in eyecare

Interest and awareness in the Arclight has been enhanced through research publications.

Face-to-face delivery of training and education was delivered throughout the entire length of Africa by the Tandem Arclight Africa Expedition Team.

Reducing unnecessary blindness

The widespread distribution of Arclight in Africa, allied with training activity and capacity building, has had a positive influence in the health of people across the region. Arclight is becoming ‘the’ standard tool for opportunistic diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma screening and training healthcare workers.


“The thought of having an ophthalmoscope which was low cost and the students could learn with it without the fear of costly breakages was a great relief”.

Dr Carl Halladay Abraham, Department of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

“However, the real game changing impact of the Arclight is likely to be felt at the front-line health centres where Primary Eye Care is delivered and where 90% of eye conditions can be diagnosed and treated”.

Ronnie Graham, formerly Regional Director for Sightsavers and IAPB Director of Human Resources for Eye Health in Africa.

“For the way going forward we now at last have affordable basic equipment for Ear Care and hopefully will gradually begin to se an impact on the 50 million people with chronic ear disease in Africa”.

Chris Prescott, Associate Professor in the ENT Dept at the University of Cape Town

“With the new smartphone camera clip people can’t have enough of it”.

Dr Carl Halladay Abraham, Department of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

“Now we have a simple tool which can be hang around the student / optometrists / technicians’ neck and can may use it as and when needed at any time and any place”.

By Dr.Sybil Meshramkar (Director), Velemegna Eye Hospital, Bidar, India

“The Arclight scope is definitely a must have tool for any eye/ear interventions in Low and Middle income countries”

Naomi Lugoe, Country Director , Sense International (EA) Tanzania

IPE Rwanda

IPE outreach, University of Rwanda

Interprofessional community outreach where University of Rwanda Students (ophthalmology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Prosthetics and Orthotics) offered treatment and advocated for improved access to health for persons with disabilities in the Northern Province of Rwanda. Ophthalmology students assessed patients in the community using the arlight package and it was an amazing experience for them.