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BC Centre for
Epidemiologic and International Ophthalmology

Faculty | Overview | Publications


Ken Bassett MD PhD, Professor and Division Head


Supported by the UBC Department of Ophthalmology and Seva Canada and Seva Foundation (USA), Dr. Bassett maintains a Canadian and international advocacy and teaching program (health services, epidemiology & anthropology) focused on building local capacity for the prevention and treatment of blindness in Tibet (China), Tanzania, Nepal, India and Egypt.

The UBC office, known as The BC Centre for Epidemiologic and International Ophthalmology, works closely with eye care program partners to provide formal and informal teaching in research methods, data management, and report production with the aim of furthering the World Health Organization VISION 2010 initiative. In most settings, local teams now conduct independent field research and utilise research findings to develop provincial or district level eye care program plans.

The BCEIO also provides an annual course to UBC ophthalmology residents in epidemiology, evidence-based medicine, and practical research methods. The BCEIO also helps staff and residents to design, conduct and report research projects.

Current projects include an IDRC funded project to develop community-based interventions to reduce trachoma in northern Tanzania, and two CIHR funded, Gender and Blindness projects, one in Upper Egypt and one in Northern Tanzania.

More and more, BCEIO is operating through a network of Community Ophthalmology Programs, including a multicentre project to develop library/ resource centres to facilitate clinical and public health research in more mature centres.

The British Columbia Centre for Epidemiologic and International Ophthalmology was established in 1995 to assist in the reduction of blindness, vision loss, and ocular pathology in Canada and developing countries.

The three approaches to prevention of blindness that the centre fosters are: promotion of appropriate eye care services, training, and research.

As a unit within the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of British Columbia, the centre is multidisciplinary, building on expertise within the Department of Ophthalmology as well as throughout the University of British Columbia and its affiliated health care institutions.


Noertjojo K, Maberley D, Courtright P, Bassett KL. Knowledge of major eye diseases and their risk factors. Identifying needs for health education and promotion in Canada. Canadian J of Ophthal. Apr 2006.

Bassett KL, Noertjojo K, Liu L, Wang FS, Tenzing C, Wilkie A, Santangelo M, Courtright P. Cataract surgical coverage and outcome in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. British J of Ophthal 2005;89:5-9.

Bassett KL, Noertjojo K, Nirmalan P, Courtright P. Resio revisited: visual function assessment and cataract surgery in British Columbia. Can J of Ophthal 2005;40:27-33.

Courtright P, Bassett KL. Gender and Blindness: Eye Disease and the Use of Eye Care Services. Community Eye Health 2003;16:11-12.

Dunzhu S, Wang FS, Courtright P, Lui L, Tenzing C , Noertjojo K, Wilkie A, Santangelo M, Bassett KL. Tibet Eye Care Assessment: a randomized, population-based, survey of blindness prevalence and eye care service utilization, British J Ophthal 2003;87:1443-1448.

Abou-Gareeb I, Bassett KL, Lewellen S, Courtright P. Gender and Blindness: A meta-analysis of population based, blindness prevalence data. Ophthalmic Epidemiology 2001; 8:39-56

Courtright P, Abou-Gareeb I, Lewellen S, Bassett KL. Gender and blindness. Gender Health. World Health Organization, Department of Gender and Women’s Health, June 2001.




Mr. Jaafar Aghajanian
Information Systems Manager

UBC Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Eye Care Centre (VGH)
2550 Willow Street
Vancouver, BC
Canada V5Z 3N9

tel 604-417-1062 | fax 604-875-4663 | e-mail Jaafara@interchange.ubc.ca

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