Kovin Naidoo

Myopia: A Crisis in Waiting


Kovin will discuss the epidemiology, the response in terms of myopia control, and the response in terms of service delivery, specifically relating to the children's vision campaign.


Professor Kovin Naidoo is the CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute.
He is an academic, former anti-apartheid activist and political prisoner, optometrist and an internationally celebrated public health leader. His professional life has been dedicated to delivering eye care to people in need.

Prof Naidoo is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Associate Professor of Optometry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), and Adjunct Faculty at Salus University in Philadelphia. He is also Director of Our Children’s Vision, a global campaign working to upscale, accelerate and expand access to eye health services to all children.


Prof Naidoo has published extensively in epidemiology and public health. Recognizing the need to develop research capacity in Africa, Prof Naidoo initiated the formation of the African Vision Research Institute. Prof Naidoo is a member of the World Council of Optometry Executive committee; Founder and Chairperson of African Vision and former Chairperson of the Red Cross Air Mercy Services Board of Trustees, among his many esteemed affiliations.  

Prof Naidoo is a Fulbright Scholar and was elected as an Ashoka Fellow and a Schwab Fellow and was jointly awarded with Professor Brien Holden the Schwab Social Entrepreneur Award for Africa 2010, at the regional World Economic Forum in Tanzania because of his ability to merge business acumen with social causes.


The American Academy of Optometry awarded him the Essilor Award for outstanding contributions to Optometry in 2010, and the British College of Optometrists an honorary fellowship in 2009 for his contribution to the development of optometry in Africa and the developing world. He was African Optometrist of the Year in 2002, International Optometrist of the Year in 2007 and most recently, he has been awarded the American Academy of Optometry’s Henry B. Peters Memorial Award in Public Health and Environmental Vision for 2016.