News and notices. Comm Eye Health Vol. 13 No. 33 2000. March 01, 2000

Community eye health workshops overseas

The International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH), London, has been running one-week community eye health workshops since January 1999. Six workshops took place in the first year, in South Africa, Colombia, Pakistan, Tanzania, India and Nigeria. The courses were attended by more than 200 ophthalmologists and other health care personnel, including administrators and project managers.

ICEH is planning a further six workshops in 2000 and 2001 (see below). The first workshop of the millennium was held in Pretoria, South Africa and was attended by 50 people. Several interesting projects were developed and we are looking forward to receiving feedback on the success of these programmes.

We would like to thank our sponsors; the National Lottery Charities Board (NLCB), CBM International and Task Force SIGHT AND LIFE who have funded the workshops. CBM initially funded workshops on an individual basis. Task Force SIGHT AND LIFE provided ICEH with a grant in 1995 to develop further these training courses in other overseas centres. This funding enabled the courses to progress so that support from CBM and Task Force SIGHT AND LIFE encouraged the development of a formal network between the different centres in 1997. At this time we received a large grant from the NLCB via the British Council for the Prevention of Blindness, to run a three-year project in the six centres.

At the end of the three years it is planned that the six overseas centres will continue to run training workshops. ICEH will look for further sources of funding and the centres themselves will co-fund the work in the future. The Pakistan Institute of Community Ophthalmology (PICO), in Peshawar, is already running its own MSc and Diploma courses in community eye health. The LV Prasad Eye Institute, in India, is planning MSc and Diploma courses. South Africa has developed one week training courses in community eye health for ophthalmic nurses at Edendale Hosptial, with plans for further development.

News and notices in Comm Eye Health Vol. 13 No. 33 2000 –