Local Capacity Building

Santen aims to reduce the loss of social and economic opportunities for people around the world due to eye conditions by striving to improve the welfare of patients in the ophthalmic field as our specialty.

Supporting Training for Young Ophthalmologists from Low-resource Countries

Santen supports the three-month International Council of Ophthalmology (hereinafter, ICO) Fellowship Program, which offers young ophthalmologists from low-resource countries the opportunity to stay in more developed countries to enhance their ophthalmological knowledge and skills. Santen has continued to make a donation to cover ICO fellowships for three people every year. We aim to contribute to improving medical standards in areas with unmet medical needs by supporting the training of young ophthalmologists.

As of May 2023, young ophthalmologists from Egypt and Mongolia have completed their training in Turkey and Germany, respectively. Despite a postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ophthalmologists from Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Mexico and India are scheduled or started to receive training in the U.S., Finland, Nepal, UK and other countries.

Accelerating the Growth of Ophthalmic Eco Systems through a Partnership with Orbis


Santen established a partnership in 2020 with Orbis International (hereinafter, "Orbis"), a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for four decades. Both parties are working together in China, Vietnam, and other countries to provide education and skill improvement opportunities for ophthalmic healthcare professionals.

Main Initiatives

  • Online training by Cybersight, Orbis's award-winning telemedicine and e-learning platform
  • Development of diagnostic and surgical skills by utilizing the latest technologies such as AI and digital
  • Initiative to help train ophthalmology residents
  • Initiative to raise public awareness of the importance of eye health
Orbis Internationalロゴマーク

Development of Nurse Training Programs in Vietnam


We have entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), which is internationally recognized as a world leader in ophthalmic professional education. Based on this partnership, SNEC has developed innovative merged online-offline hybrid educational programs. These programs are primarily designed to enhance the skills of non-physician healthcare professionals so that some medical practices can be appropriately delegated to them, thereby ensuring more efficient use of limited medical human resources and improving access to ophthalmic care in Southeast Asia.

As our first initiative under this strategic partnership, we have started to establish a training center at Vietnam National Eye Hospital (VNEH), a central hospital under the umbrella of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, which is positioned as a clinical training facility for Hanoi Medical University. Specifically, in June 2022, SNEC, with support from Santen, provided a train-the-trainer program to VNEH, which thereby developed 10 master trainers (five ophthalmologists and five ophthalmic nurses). In addition, an educational program in Vietnamese was developed based on regional needs, and SNEC and VNEH also conducted a pilot program from August to October 2022. As a result of these efforts, 23 ophthalmic nurses in VNEH have been trained with SNEC’s educational programs, confirming their concept and value in the Vietnamese healthcare context.

As a strategic partner, Santen will continuously support SNEC’s efforts to execute a full-program launch in Vietnam and to introduce our education program to other Southeast Asian countries, such as Indonesia.

At the ceremony

At the ceremony

Resolving the Shortage of Ophthalmologists in Developing Countries


The Company had continually made donations since 2012 to support "Teaching the Teachers," a training program focused on educating the educators of ophthalmologists. This program is presented by the ICO Foundation, the largest ophthalmic foundation in the world, with the aim of eliminating the shortage of ophthalmologists in developing countries.

"Teaching the teachers" program (Photo provided by ICO Foundation)

Raising Awareness with Digital Health Programs in Developing Countries


In 2020, the Company entered into a partnership agreement with the International Telecommunication Union (Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland, hereinafter ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, to support "Be He@lthy, Be Mobile" (hereinafter BHBM) in ophthalmology, an initiative of ITU and the World Health Organization (Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland).

BHBM is a digital health initiative between the WHO and ITU in support of the WHO's expansion of services in non-communicable diseases. This initiative is designed to raise awareness of the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases through the use of mobile phones and digital devices in order to realize healthy lifestyles. It is estimated that almost the entire world population (97%) lives within reach of a mobile cellular signal, and today its service is expanding digital health services and geographic reach, including the distribution of health information and content to end users through SMS (short message service) and digital device apps. Millions of people have already been reached through the programs and evaluation shows that they are impacting positively on users' health.

As part of this effort, a toolkit on how to implement MyopiaEd was launched in March 2022. The toolkit includes guidance and resources for adapting, implementing, and monitoring educational campaigns on myopia aiming to raise awareness of the disease and promote good eye care behaviors.

Supporting Educational Program for Ophthalmologists in Uveitis Field in Asia


Santen is supporting on-line educational program for trainee and practicing ophthalmologists in the uveitis field especially in Asia through donation to L V Prasad Eye Institute which is managed by Hyderabad Eye Institute in India. The first-year educational program was started in July 2021 and included the following activities:

  1. Engaging leaders in specific areas of uveitis to moderate classes in their respective fields
  2. More than 100 hours of academic engagement in uveitis
  3. Monthly - special interest group meetings, key note lectures, grand rounds and interactive meetings
  4. Monthly collaborative combined grand rounds with one of the major international uveitis centers
  5. Interface for practicing ophthalmologists/uveitis specialists with academia

During the first-year program, nearly 140 ophthalmologists, including 35 from outside India, have been continuously engaged in this training activity. Below are some of the feedbacks from the trainees.

  • It was very informative. Made me realize how little I know of the subject, will need to go back to basic books.
  • It was wonderful explanation. Thanking a friend who insisted I join this course.
Uveitis on-line education

The second-year educational program was initiated Jan 2023, and Santen is continuously supporting the educational program through donation.

Developing Researchers in Japan


Santen's Nara Research and Development Center operates the Functional Polymer Science Laboratory established in 2005 in collaboration with Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST). Serving as visiting professors, associate professors and collaborative research staff members, Santen's employees familiar with this field of specialty teach students who aim to become researchers. So far, this laboratory has produced 15 master's degree graduates and two PhD degree graduates

In the laboratory

Developing Ophthalmologists in China


The Company has made great efforts to help the development of the ophthalmology industry in China. As early as 1966, we established Santen Scholarship to cultivate more Chinese ophthalmology talents and improve the specialized level of ophthalmology doctors. Over the years, Santen Scholarship has provided a variety of academic support programs, which benefit generations of ophthalmology HCPs. The total amount of Santen Scholarship has reached over 21 million RMB by the end of 2020.

In addition, Santen has recently worked with Beijing Bethune Charitable Foundation to promote the standardization of glaucoma diagnosis and treatment in China through the "Glaucoma Standardization Center Construction Project". This not only benefits the majority of glaucoma patients, but also improves the level of diagnosis and treatment in China.

2020 Santen Scholarship Memorandum signing site
Glaucoma Standardization Center Construction Project Phase II