Biographies

Dianne E Powell

Dianne Powell completed a postgraduate diploma in Ophthalmic nursing science at the University of Cape Town in 1986 graduating with distinction, and has worked in this field for over 28 years at Groote Schuur Hospital.

Since 2005 Di has also been part time lecturer for the Post Graduate Diploma in Ophthalmic Nursing science at the University of Cape Town. In 1997, Di established the False Bay Ophthalmic Trust to provide a voluntary eye care service to False Bay’s impoverished areas. In 2006 she was instrumental in developing an extremely successful Community based eye-screening project in the Western Cape, a program that in addition to meeting eye care objectives has been successful in providing career paths and job creation to unemployed youth from disadvantaged communities; in that same year she established a high volume cataract unit at Eerste River Hospital; and to provide easy access to services, a high volume refraction services centre was started for the poor.

In 2007 Dianne was invited to serve on the Standards generation body for Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology by the President of the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa; and she went on to establish the first Diabetic Retinal community based screening and laser project in Africa.

In 1998 Di published a report in the Democratic Society of South Africa News entitled “What has Father Xmas for you” addressing the topic of Ophthalmic injuries involving toy guns. In 2007 Di authored a report that was published in the South African Medical Journal evaluating the pilot project of the Diabetic Retinal screening project.

In 2005 Dianne was awarded second runner up in the Cecilia Makiwane Provincial Nursing Award; in 2006 Di won the Shoprite / Checkers Woman of the year award in the Health category. In 2007 Di received the Premier of the Western Cape service in Excellence certificate award for service delivery in health care and in 2008 she was the first runner up in the Marilyn Lehana National Award. In 2008 Dianne also received the National public service department Centre for innovation award for service delivery using information technology.  In 2009 she was nominated for the Antonio Champalimaud international project vision award and The United Nations Public service awards for innovative public service delivery.

Di serves on the Provincial and National bodies of the South African Ophthalmic Nurses Society and is a member of Lions International.

Chris A Eksteen

Dip.Optom.(SA), F.O.A.(SA), M.B.C.O.(UK)

Chris qualified as an Optometrist from the Technicon in Johannesburg in 1985. In 1992 passed the British College exams and registered with the General Optical Council. In 1994 registered with the Opticians board in New Zealand and in 1999 with the Board of Optometrical registration in New South Wales. In 1987 he was elected Chairman of the Western Cape branch of the South African Optometric Association (SAOA) and served in that position for many years.

Chris served as a director of the SAOA for the 10 years holding various senior positions in the organization. Chris was elected to the position of Public Health Director for the SAOA from 2003 to 2004 and to the position of vice president of the SAOA from 2004 to 2005. He was elected President of the SAOA from 2005 to 2006. From 2006 to 2008 Chris was the Ambassador and Financial Director for South African Optometric Association. He was the Chairman of the Bonang Eye Care Centres until 2008.

In 2006 he received an Award from the Western Cape MEC for Health for his contribution to the delivery of eye care services to the indigent community of the Western Cape. He has been involved in the Lions Sight Foundation and has served on the council of St George’s Cathedral and Progress College.

Chris has served as President of the Lions Club of Cape of Good Hope and had held various senior positions in the club and has received numerous awards from this club. The Bergvliet Lions Club presented him with the Louis Volk Humanitarian Award for his contribution to eye care.

Together with Charl Laäs and Dirk Booysen, they manage the South African Contact Lens Institute of which he is director. The Institute is working on a range of activities involving post graduate education in Africa. Chris is also a director of The OrthoK Company, providing services and technical assistance to practitioners in South Africa and Australia related to Orthokeratology.

For the past 16 years Chris has been the Optometric consultant at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital and has been involved in research at the hospital. He was appointed senior contact lens lecturer at the Optometry Department in Bloemfontein and has been presenting lectures and papers at various local and international congresses for the past 8 years.

He has written a practical manual on The Art of Orthokeratology with Charl Laäs and lectures on Orthokeratology on a regular basis. He has completed the course on Overnight Orthokeratology (USA). They have also authored a practical manual on the Art of fitting Contact Lenses.

Chris is a trustee and serves as Chairman for the Jonga Trust. Jonga Trust is a Non Governmental Organisation involved in providing eye care for disadvantaged people throughout South Africa.

Chris has been in private practice since 1986 and has been fitting the Keratoconic and post refractive corneas for the past 18 years. He has a special interest in the rehabilitation of the irregular cornea and has been involved in Paediatric contact lens fitting research for a few years.

Due to his involvement in the SAOA, he has gained a wealth of experience in the delivery of eye care to the economically compromised population of South Africa. In 2006 he received a Certificate of Tribute from the SAOA for his contribution towards eye care delivery in South Africa. He has also received the African Council of Optometry (AFCO) award for eye care delivery to the communities.

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