Dr. Doménica Diaz Ubieta at the National Institute of Ophthalmology, Lima, Peru

International Women's Day 2024: Dr. Doménica

This Women's History Month, Orbis is highlighting how the lack of women eye health providers remains a major barrier to access for women and girls around the world.

Women and girls are often more comfortable receiving treatment from a female care provider, which is why Orbis is dedicated to increasing the number of women in ophthalmology.

Globally, women represent only 25-30% of ophthalmologists and 25-45% of professionals-in-training. And in a recent survey of Cybersight users, 30% of women respondents said that they experience challenges that men do not in accessing eye healthcare training.

Meet Dr. Doménica

Dr. Doménica Diaz Ubieta is a dedicated eye care partner from Lima, Peru, who has been working hard to improve her surgical skills in strabismus to brighten the lives of children, especially young girls, in her country.

Dr. Doménica Diaz Ubieta, ophthalmologist and a fellow ophthalmo-pediatrics physician specializing in strabismus

Dr. Doménica is helping kids in Peru see a brighter future.

Earlier this year, the passionate surgeon took part in some essential Orbis-led training at the National Institute of Ophthalmology (INO), where she works round-the-clock providing eye care for her patients.

Our partnership with INO spans more than two decades. It is the most important specialized eye hospital in Peru, dealing with complex cases that can’t be dealt with elsewhere.

With gaps in knowledge and skills needing to be filled, the advanced training, led by seasoned Volunteer Faculty member Dr. Andrea Molinari, from Ecuador, was critical for Dr. Doménica.

For the training, she and a fellow colleague put forward their most complicated cases, saying: “This training equips us in a better way so we can solve these problems and give our patients better opportunities to lead better lives.”

Strabismus surgery at Peru's National Institute of Ophthalmology

Dr. Doménica perfects her skills during strabismus surgical training.

If left uncorrected, strabismus can lead to severe vision loss, low self-esteem, and hinder children from accessing educational and other opportunities. In some communities around the world, it is seen as good luck for young girls to have the condition, so they often can’t access treatment until they are an adult.

A young girl with strabismus is screened for strabismus at National Institute of Ophthalmology, Lima, Peru

A young girl with strabismus is screened during the training project at our hospital partner.

Dr. Doménica talked favorably about the advanced techniques and wisdom shared by Dr. Molinari during the week-long training project, saying it gave her “big gains” in learning.

For us, and for me as a professional, it is a really an invaluable experience. It will help me from now on with all of our patients because she gives us each step, each technique, each tip. It is very important, and it helps me a lot professionally.”

Alongside this hands-on training approach, Dr. Doménica has also been using our e-learning platform, Cybersight, to share cases with Dr. Molinari, and gain insights this way alongside her continued live surgical training—a highly effective approach called “blended learning."

Dr. Doménica Diaz Ubieta practises her surgical skills during strabismus surgery

Dr. Doménica focuses on improving her surgical skills.

Cybersight is especially critical for women in eye health as it allows access to training at a time that’s convenient for them, helping women eye care professionals overcome obstacles by providing affordable, convenient ways to advance their career while continuing to fulfil their multiple roles, which often include caregiving responsibilities.

A huge thank you to our wonderful partner, and her unwavering focus and dedication to improving her skills to help young girls in Peru see a future with healthy sight!

We’d like to wish both Dr. Domenica and Dr. Molinari a happy International Women’s Day and thank them for all their hard work and dedication.

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