Management training of eye care workers project launched

18 Sep 2013 - 13:45

The first MTEW workshopThe delegates and facilitators of the first workshop held in Nakuru, Kenya.

The Community Eye Health Institute (UCT-CEHI) and Fred Hollows Foundation commenced a partnership to deliver management training to eye care workers in sub-Saharan African eye care programmes. class="rightmargin"/>

The Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF), an Australian-registered non-governmental organisation, supporting and funding eye care programmes globally to help end avoidable blindness has entered into a collaborative agreement with UCT-CEHI to help achieving the human resource development goals of Vision 2020 through their provision of quality, accredited management training for eye-health practitioners. It was decided to start with a pilot project in Kenya to determine the scalability and feasibility of such an initiative. The project work schedule included an initial launch meeting, meant to engage all relevant stakeholders in the design of the project, and extract key decisions from them. The partnership decided to start the pilot phase of this initiative in Kenya, following a successful launch meeting held in Nairobi in July 2013.

Members of ophthalmic teams from all geographic regions of the country attended this one day meeting, along with key members from the Ministry of Health, including the National Eye care Coordinator, Dr Michael Gichangi, the head of planning in the Ministry, Dr Weme. Several other role-players also attended including representatives from KTMC, MSH and COECSA. The meeting was hosted by Fred Hollows Foundation Kenya country office.

After introductory sessions which included presentations about the Leadership Development programme (Ms Josephine Mbiyu-Kinyua - Management Sciences for Health) and the newly established Kenyan Institute for Health System Management (Dr Maswan from KMTC). Mr Deon Minnies, Director of UCT-CEHI presented an overview of the “In-service Management Training for Success in Vision 2020 programmes, a project to train eye care workers in management and advocacy, in collaboration with the Fred Hollows Foundation Human Resources Development for Africa.”

The project is comprised of 5 components, including a baseline HRD situational analysis, two training workshop separated by individual coaching and mentoring activities and an end-of-project evaluation. The broad study areas would include an overview of Vision 2020, managing eye care programmes and advocacy and health promotion for eye care. The first workshop was held in Nakuru, Kenya from 9 to 11 September 2013 and involved 29 members of eye care teams from the Western, Central and Nyanza regions of the country.

This is a very exciting project, and seeing it implemented will be a fantastic achievement, considering the lengthy process it has taken to get it this far. This project aligns very much with CEHI’s strategy of increasing the critical mass of management-trained eye care workers in sub-Saharan African eye care programmes. This is also a strategically sound collaboration between FHF and CEHI.

The roll-out of this project, after favourable evaluation results will mean that the CEHI prototype can be replicated and taught elsewhere.