London News Archive

A clear vision for every child – how my London experience is helping me change the world for the better

For Tanzanian-Indian student, Priya Morjaria, accessible eye care for every child is essential. Priya’s experience studying in London is helping her to make this a reality in parts of the world that need it the most. Study London caught up with Priya at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to find out more.

Priya grew up with an awareness of how important eye care is – and the tragic consequences when this is overlooked. Certain life events inspired her to pursue the study of optometry in London, as she explains: “My grandfather went blind from a routine cataract operation that went wrong so I’ve seen first-hand how devastating blindness can be. In some parts of the world, people do not have access to adequate eye care and the consequences are tragic. I wore my first pair of glasses at the age of 7 but I could easily have been one of the children who slipped through the net. Undiagnosed vision problems are often misunderstood – a teacher thinks a child is playing up for example, when really they just can’t see properly and all they need is a pair of glasses.”

Priya is currently studying for a PhD in Public Health for Eye Care at LSHTM, following an undergraduate degree in optometry from City, University of London and a Masters at LSHTM. Her first application to continue her studies at LSHTM was turned down due to her lack of experience. This prompted Priya to gain invaluable experience in the field which not only gave her a unique insight into the challenges ahead – it also helped shape her future career.

Priya explained: “Prior to my Masters, I worked as a community optometrist in the UK and as a volunteer optometrist in Tanzania, India and Burkina Faso. The Masters gave me the skills and opportunity to then work in Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zambia, Bangladesh and Nepal. My PhD focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of school health programs for children who need vision correction and I’ve recently finished a series of clinical trials in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India, evaluating vision screening in schools. As the research lead for Peek Vision – a charity that aims to provide quality, sustainable eye health for everyone – I discovered that we could deal with 86% of school children on the spot by giving them a pair of glasses.”

As a result of Peek’s screening work in Kenya and Botswana, parallel to Priya’s clinical work in India, Priya has recently heard that the government of Botswana is implementing new policy changes to roll out a national program for vision screening in all schools. This significant achievement will ensure that children’s eye problems are picked up early and corrected, which will positively change and dramatically improve the lives of thousands of people. Priya said: “‘This is extremely important as 80% of our learning is visual. If a child is not able to see at school then the teacher concludes that they are not paying attention or are not interested in participating, when it could simply be that a child is not able to see. The reality is that usually a child does not know that they are not able to see clearly.”

Commenting on how her time in London has helped shape her aspirations, Priya said: “London is so diverse. I have colleagues from all over the world and can tap into their vast knowledge of different countries. We’re like a global power team and we’re gradually influencing policy to change eye care for the better.”

Priya added: “London is home – it’s welcoming and culturally fascinating. There’s something magical about this city. London has given me so many connections to help make the changes I want to see happen.”

Priya has been nominated for the World Council of Optometry, Paul Berman Young Leader Award – a global accolade which will be announced in September at the World Council of Optometry Congress in India. She certainly has our vote, good luck Priya!

Inspired to follow in Priya’s footsteps? Find out more about studying optometry and public health for eye care in London.

Discover the Real City of London with VizEat

The global metropolitan city of London is full of energy and diversity that overflow the streets, creating the vibrant atmosphere that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Immersed in history, the city has charmed both tourists and locals alike for centuries from its beguiling architecture and iconic landmarks to its evolving multicultural cuisine. With so […]

How to find freebies and discounts in London

London is the city of opportunities! You might not believe it yet, but there are many ways to find freebies and discounts in London. There are hundreds of hidden gems and secret ways to avoid spending all your money in the first few weeks. London is full of different activities so we have broken down […]

London is the World’s Classroom: World Record Attempt for the most nationalities in a language lesson

Every year English UK London holds a summer fete to celebrate the hundreds of thousands of students that choose to improve their English in the capital. This year, in recognition of all the different nationalities that come here, a world record attempt was held, to set the record for the most nationalities in a language […]

Cash in on London’s part-time work opportunities

Working part-time while studying can help pay for your living costs and it also looks great on your CV. And if you are hoping to stay in the UK after you graduate, work experience will help you get the all-important job offer you need. International students are  allowed to work while studying if they study […]

Top tips to help you feel like a Londoner in less time

Coming to London for the first time can be incredibly exciting and totally terrifying – but feeling at home can happen quicker than you think. Here are some top tips to help you make the most of your time in London. 1. Get comfortable It doesn’t matter where you are from, or where you go […]

London Tech Week 2017: Where creativity, talent and innovation come together

London is a global hub for technology innovation, entrepreneurship and creative talent. London Technology Week, which takes place from 12 – 16 June 2017, is a festival of live events celebrating the best of London’s tech scene, while providing networking, social, learning and business opportunities. This tech festival connects people, ideas and businesses from all […]

Pint of Science: Meet the experts at the pub

Science talk festival in local pubs across London and the UK Pint of Science is a three day science festival (15-17 May 2017) which will see more than 1000 scientists head to pubs across the UK to discuss their latest research. The events bring some of the most brilliant scientists to your local pub to […]

Imperial Festival: A Celebration of Science, Engineering and Creativity

Imperial College London, one of the world’s top universities, will once again host the Imperial Festival on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May at the College’s South Kensington Campus. Flying robots, immersive art and delicious food are just some of the hands-on experiences visitors can look forward to in 2017. The Festival is designed to share […]

Make this summer your London experience at SOAS, University of London

Join our vibrant SOAS community and choose from 13 different summer courses – apply now or find out more! The SOAS Academic Summer School is highly international: since its start, the Academic Summer School has welcomed students from close to 80 different countries. 90% of the 2016 summer students would recommend the Academic Summer School […]

Search Courses

Course Type:

Advanced Search

Study London is the Mayor of London’s official university guide. Register to download our free ‘Study in London’ guidebook, receive our monthly newsletter and contact universities directly.

Register now ×