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Dr Andrew Blaikie

Dr Andrew Blaikie

Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmology

Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 461894


Research areas

Dr Andrew Blaikie is a Senior Lecturer in the Infection and Global Health Division of the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews. He is also an Honorary Lecturer at the Hasanuddin University, Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Clinically he works as a Consultant Ophthalmologist in NHS Fife and the Rwandan Charity Eye Hospital, Kigali with a specialist interest in paediatrics, adult neuro-ophthalmology and more recently glaucoma.

After studying Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and intercalating with a BSc in Pathology his first medical job after registriation was as an expedtition doctor in Indonesia. Subsequently after a period of general medical training he started specialising in ophthalmology in Leicester Royal Infirmary in 1995. This was a spring board to core ophthalmology training in NHS Tayside and Fife back in Scotland. He completed training with a Fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology with Professor Gole in Brisbane. During training he took a two-year sabbatical with the University of Edinburgh to develop a support network and notification system for children with visual impairment called ?VI Scotland?. Throughout his training he travelled and worked in several African countries as well as back in Indonesia. During training he promoted interdisciplinary working and community based functional vision assessment teams for children with visual impairment and complex needs. Through gaining funding from the Scottish government this strategy was subsequently rolled out throughout Scotland.

As a Consultant Dr Blaikie has developed paediatric ophthalmology services in NHS Fife and led the National referral assessment service for children with visual impairment at the Children?s Hospital in Glasgow. In 2011 he took a further sabbatical period to work as lead paediatric ophthalmologist at CCBRT disability hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Since returning from Tanzania in collaboration with community paediatric colleagues he has helped developed a new National Visual Impairment Managed Clinical Network (VINCYP) for Scotland. He is the lead ophthalmologist for VINCYP developing and implementing a tailored visual impairment registration system for children and young people. In April 2018 the Scottish Government adopted the register as the statutory visual impairment system for children.

More recently Dr Blaikie has annualised his NHS clinical commitment to 8 months to allow him to work 4 months of the year at the Rwandan Charity Eye Hospital, Kigali. 

Dr Blaikie joined the Infection and Global Health Division at the University of St Andrews in 2015 and is working in four main areas;

1)   Low cost diagnostic devices

2)   Education of health care workers

3)   Tanzanian Endemic Optic Neuropathy

4)   Childhood Visual Impairment

Current Research and Future Plans

Low cost diagnostic devices & educational packages

Working closely with industry and the major eye care NGOs Dr Blaikie is developing and evaluating a range of solar powered low cost diagnostic devices for identification of vision and hearing impairment in low and middle-income countries.

Education of Health Care Workers

To complement implementation of these devices a range of simulation tools and educational packages are in development and are being evaluated in several sub-Saharan African countries.

It is the aim of Dr Blaikie to make these devices and teaching tools avaialble more widely exploiting the reach of the International Association of the Prevention of Blindness and the School of Medicine ?Arclight? social enterprise business.

Tanzanian Endemic Optic Neuropathy

Dr Blaikie leads an internationally recognsied team that is investigating the causes of TEON, the most common cause of visual impairment in Dar es Salaam. The team?s hypothesis is that lack of exposure to sunlight and a diet dominated solely by carbohydrate in a genetilay predisposed population are the major underlying causes of the disease.

Childhood Visual Impairment

Through Dr Blaikie?s work with the national registration system in Scotland the causes and associations of childhood visual impairment are being identified revealing strong associations with deprivation and maternal drug use. These findings will inform national policy on prevention and habilitation of childhood disability in Scotland and other developed countries.

Selected publications


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