Course 4

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How to Eat an Elephant: Addressing the Eye Health Workforce Crisis in Africa

Convenor: Ronnie Graham


In Africa, population growth and the eye health needs of an ageing population are increasing faster than our capacity to train and deploy more eye health professionals. At the same time, Africa is not immune to the larger global health workforce crisis and many of the crisis countries are in Africa. For these reasons, IAPB Africa has prioritised strengthening the eye health workforce, at all levels, in all countries, as its key strategy for the period 2014-2023.

It is now widely understood that one of the keys to addressing the eye health workforce crisis lies with the eye health training institutions, of which there are an estimated 125 in Africa. This course, using the rapid fire approach, will introduce participants to a number of recent success stories in scaling up the production of eye health professionals before attempting to draw some key learning from these success stories which might be applied in different country contexts.

The course will be delivered by a panel of experts (the 5 chairs of the IAPB Africa HReH Task Team: Prof. Ken Kagame, Mr Kesi Naidoo, Dr. Renee Du Toit, Dr. Bo Wiafe and Dr. Hannah Faal) and presenters from 10 different countries/training institutions.


  1. To illustrate how a range of countries are addressing the eye health workforce crisis
  2. To identify key learning points
  3. To sensitise participants to key success factors
Ronnie GrahamIntroduction
Mercia CumaioScaling up mid-level ‘Technicos’ in Mozambique
Aaron MagavaScaling up Ophthalmic Nursing in Zimbabwe
Gerald MsukwaTask-sharing in Africa: Cataract Surgeons in Malawi
Mary WepoNew Schools of Optometry in Africa
Michael KetemaThe DESSO programme in Guinea
Ibrahim MatendeScaling up the training of ophthalmologists in COECSA countries
Alice LehasaScaling up the workforce to address DR in Botswana
Boubacar SarrIntegrating eye health into national HRH Planning in Senegal
Joseph OyeAdvocacy for HReH in Central Africa
Mollent OkechApplying the WISN tool to eye health in Africa
Daksha PatelEye Care Training: Needs and Challenges

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