Orbis Africa and COECSA (The College of Ophthalmology of Eastern Central and Southern Africa) created a partnership in collaboration with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Africa to effectively roll out Human Resources for Eye Health strengthening in the East, Central and Southern Africa region through the Human Resources for Eye Health Strengthening Initiative.

This consultative partnership facilitates direct communications, data sharing, technical input, and collaborative exchange of ideas and recommendations in order to leverage the expertise, networks and resources of the partner organizations in designing, planning and implementing the Human Resources for Eye Health (HReH) Strengthening Initiative.

The Objectives of the HReH Strengthening Initiative

1. Strengthening training institutions to deliver high quality training and service delivery
2. Contribute to development of a political environment conducive for promoting sustainable HReH across Africa
3. Creating forums of ophthalmic dialogue which promotes professional skills exchange skills and knowledge development
4. Building health information systems which generate useful data on health determinants and health system performance

The Tools

Specific programmatic tools to ensure that the implementation of HReH strengthening across Africa will be sustainable and integrated into existing plans and programmes include

1. The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital (FEH), the world’s only flying ophthalmic teaching hospital.
2. Volunteer Faculty (VF) providing high-quality training to local partners during Hospital Based Programmes, Flying Eye Hospital visits and through Cyber-Sight.
3. Hospital Based Programmes providing hands-on training and skills exchange with key eye health professionals at local eye health partner institutions.
4. Cyber-Sight, an ophthalmic telemedicine website offering patient consultation, mentoring and e-learning resources and connecting local partners with VF.
5. Sub-specialty training opportunities that are customized for each country’s needs.

COECSA‘s aim is to address the chronic shortage of ophthalmologists in Eastern, Central & Southern Africa as well as improve the quality of eye care services in the region. COECSA contributes to Human Resources for Health (HRH) through quality training in ophthalmology; set standards for professional ophthalmic practice; facilitate continuous professional development; and, promote research which advances ophthalmology in the region.