The Bulgarian Medical Association has named Associate Professor Alexander Oscar, head of the Ophthalmology Clinic at Alexandrovska Hospital in Sofia, Doctor of the Year 2020.
The award, conferred on the occasion of Bulgaria’s Day of the Doctor, was given to Dr Oscar who for the past seven years has been conducting a campaign to provide free eye examinations and spectacles for young children.
Dr Oscar volunteered at the very beginning of the Covid crisis. “There was no fear, there was anxiety about the unknown. The unknown still prevails, but now medicine has the necessary means to influence the complications of the disease, and the system is much better prepared to deal with the problem,” he said.
“I can’t help but worry about the fact that frontline medics are dying, and there are relatives who are suffering. I can’t help but be worried about the fact that this is complicating both healthcare and our lives.”
He urged compliance with the measures – wearing masks and indoors, maintaining physical distancing and avoiding crowds of many people in one place.
“No one is completely protected. At some point, each of us will be infected, the question is when he will be infected and how he will spend the infection. It is up to us to slow down the rate of infection and minimise the complications of the infection itself,” he said.
Dr Oscar issued a reminder that it is important to carefully choose sources of information on the subject, given that there are a lot of fake news and conspiracy theories about the creation and spread of the coronavirus.
He advised parents to use desktop computers. Every 20-30 minutes, children should rest and look away and not be in front of computers all day.
Dr Oscar said that the award has a special value for him and recalled that 80 years ago the president of the Bulgarian Medical Association at the time, Dr Ivan Koychev, sent a letter to the Speaker of the 25th National Assembly, asking him to make efforts to prevent the adoption of a law that would harm the good name of the tolerant Bulgarian people.
As a result, and thanks to the joint efforts of various professional organisations led by the worthy leaders of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, 50 000 Jews were saved from certain death in Nazi concentration camps, he said.
Apart from heading the Ophthalmology Clinic at Alexandrovska, Associate Professor Oscar heads the ophthalmology department at Medical University of Sofia, is secretary of the Bulgarian Society of Ophthalmology and is president of the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom”.
graduated with honours from the Medical University of Sofia in 2003,
going on to further academic achievements, including a speciality in
nerve disease, a master’s degree in public health and health
management and a speciality in eye diseases. He has authored numerous
publications and completed specialisations abroad.
His “Do Good” initiative has, since 2012, seen more than 30 000 children of pre-school and early school age undergo free eye examinations, with more than 1000 pairs of spectacles donated. In March 2020, Associate Professor Oscar was among the initiators of the campaign “Together we will cope” of the Bulgarian Society of Ophthalmology and the Bulgarian Medical Union, which raised funds and purchased food for more than 500 families of medics placed under quarantine throughout the country.
He has received honours from Sofia municipality and the Bulgarian state, the latter the order For Civil Merit, first degree, conferred for Dr Oscar’s merits in the development of civil society, protection of human rights and freedoms and the strengthening of the democratic institutions in the Republic of Bulgaria.
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