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Non-Clinical Capacity Development of Eye Health Workers in Africa

The participants of the Management Training for Eye care Workers Project, together with faculty and official group photograph of the MTEW project taken in September 2013 in Nakuru, Kenya.

The University of Cape Town’s Community Eye Health Institute (CEHI) and the Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF) initiated a collaborative initiative to help achieve the human resource development goals of Vision 2020 through the provision of quality, accredited management training for eye-health practitioners in 2013.

The initiative was launched in Kenya in July 2013, starting with a pilot project named the “Management Training for Eye care Workers” or “MTEW” project and was initially designed around two workshops separated by about a month of faculty-assisted assignments and a final project review, both internally and externally. This format has since been reviewed to become four workshops separated by two team assignments.

To date, three workshops have been held, covering key management topics as contained in a curriculum that was developed in consultation with the stakeholders of eye care in the Ministry of Health of Kenya.

Eye care teams from three regions (Central, Western and Nyanza) were selected to undergo the first batch of training.  The Kenyan Medical Training College’s (KMTC) Kenyan Institute for Health Systems Management was identified as the training partner to ensure localization of the training as much as possible.

The workshops were held in Nakuru, Rift Valley Region, one each in September and October 2013 and the third one in February 2014. Approximately 30 eye care team members attended each workshop, including ophthalmologists, ophthalmic nurses, ophthalmic clinical officers and other eye-trained nurses.

The project, while providing much needed management skills to eye care team members, also helps with advocacy and planning for improved eye care services in newly devolved health care system in the country.  The participants will be presenting their county eye care plans to senior health services management during the final workshop will take place in June.  For further information about the project, contact the Community Eye Health Institute at cehi@uct.ac.za, or download the latest report here.

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