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Pirindhavellie Govender-Poonsamy, B.Optom, M.Optom, CAS

Pirindhavellie Govender-Poonsamy is a South African optometrist who is an academic, researcher and currently the Executive Director of the Global Ophthalmic Institute, a global eye care education non-profit organization. 

Pirindha’s caliber of work has earned her a position as a member of the World Health Organisation’s Technical Working Group on the Package of Eye Care Interventions and as a consultant on the WHO’s mMyopia project, working alongside global experts in myopia management and research.  

Pirindha began her career in the public sector in the Northern Cape, South Africa.  She then went on to join the staff at the University of Durban Westville (now University of KwaZulu Natal – UKZN) as a clinical resident in 1997 and has served in the Department of Optometry at UKZN over the last 24 years, either in a full-time or part-time lecturer capacity.  She is currently an Honorary Lecturer at UKZN, lending her skills and knowledge in optometry in the areas of Clinical Optometry, Diagnosis and Management of Ocular Disease and Low Vision.  

Pirindha has also worked in the NGO sector for over 10 years at the Brien Holden Vision Institute. She has served there as the editor of the Global Optometry Resource Platform (a humanitarian effort to compile and disseminate teaching and learning materials from academics worldwide to support optometry development around the world) and as the Global Programs Associate in Support of the NGO’s CEO and its activities.  

She is a respected academic serving as an external examiner for national optometry institutions and has also lectured abroad at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.  To date, Pirindha has published 19 peer-reviewed papers in local and international journals, has presented clinical and academic presentations locally and abroad and has graduated six master’s students.  

Pirindha earned her master’s in optometry at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and her certificate of advanced studies from the New England College of Optometry. She is currently completing her doctorate with a focus on child eye health.

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