Education and training
Tanzania – Prevention of Avoidable Blindness Project
In collaboration with the German committee for the Prevention of Blindness, the Rukwa Regional Government of Tanzania and the Catholic Church in Sumbawanga Diocese the Arclight Project team has been delivering remote online teaching to a range of health care workers at the Dr Atiman Hospital in Sumbawanga, Tanzania.
The participants in Tanzania who included nurses, clinical officers and doctors were equipped with Arclights and SIMulation eyes. Over Zoom they were trained and assessed by the Arclight project team members Dr Martin Anderson and Andrew Blaikie on how to test visual acuity, examine the anterior segment as well as perform retinal reflection test and observe optic nerves.
This approach highlights how the challenges of travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic can be overcome and still allow high quality education to be provided in collaboration with local bilingual teachers.
The team aims to repeat this training in the neighbouring region of Katavi in Spring 2021.
Interprofessional Arclight Workshop for Healthcare Students in Rwanda
Promoting Collaborative Practice in Eye Health
Preventable and treatable visual impairment affects more than 1 billion people worldwide. Around one third of this demand could be addressed through a more integrated and collaborative approach. In 2019 we piloted Interprofessional workshops with ophthalmic clinical officer, medical clinical officer, nursing and medical students from the University of Rwanda. The aim was to promote collaborative practice by teaching students how to assess and recognise common eye conditions using the Arclight ophthalmoscope and simulation tools. The Arclight is a low cost, solar powered, portable ophthalmoscope and anterior segment loupe designed for use in low resource settings.
The video below illustrates how we delivered the teaching and the benefits to the students.
Collaborative practice in eye health is important in view of the changing scope of practice needed to tackle the global health issue of visual impairment. Through our work we have shown the Arclight can be a valuable vehicle for interprofessional education, promoting collaborative eye health practice amongst a range of health care professionals. Student evaluation confirmed the relevance of the skills and knowledge covered in the workshop. In the planning of future workshops we will use feedback to carefully consider content and timing to maintain the richness and value of this collaborative approach.
We will build on this initiative explore further the positive impact of IPE and collaborative practice in Africa.
This study was funded by the Global Challenges Research Funding awarded by the Scottish Funding Council.