Training of Ophthalmologists in East Africa: Experiences and Perspectives
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Nairobi, Kenya
WHO recognizes inadequate manpower as a major constraint to the implementation of VISION 2020 in Africa. This is especially significant for ophthalmologists, who act as team leaders and co-ordinators of blindness prevention teams. In this context WHO, together with NGOs, the ICO and governmental institutions promote alternatives to the training of African ophthalmologists in industrialized countries. These programmes have often proved to be expensive, inappropriate and enhance brain drain.
Since 25 years the University Eye Departments in Munich and Nairobi are engaged in a training co-operation. This successful partnership may provide a model for the development of training programmes in the region. Appropriate structures reflecting local needs and the integration into existing national and regional programmes are as crucial as the ability to develop and maintain international standards in clinical services, research and teaching.
The following aspects are essential for the successful implementation of such a concept:
1. Twinning: the reliable and long-term partnership between training institutions in Africa and the industrialized world
2. Integration: the successful integration into national and regional structures, programmes and developments (e.g. PBC, VISION 2020, colleges, professional bodies)
3. Institutional networks: the co-operation between institutions from various
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