A busy summer and autumn for the Arclight Project
The Arclight Project team has had a busy few months of presentations, workshops, and grant success!
In August, Dr Blaikie presented a scientific paper on telemedicine and delivered a seminar on medical education at the African Ophthalmology Meeting (COECSA) in Mombasa, Kenya. The meeting also offered the opportunity meet with implementing NGO and Ministry of Health leads and network with supra-national policymakers.
August also marked the start of a new partnership between the Arclight Project, DOT glasses, and SHOFCO to train and equip all their staff working in the major slums of Nairobi. This aims to enable SHOFCO’s teams being able to deliver comprehensive eye examinations in their spectacle distribution work in these marginalised and grossly underserved populations. The partnership officially began on 27 August, when Dr Blaikie delivered a workshop in Mathare slum to the DOT glasses health care team from the whole Nairobi region. This will be an on-going collaboration with expansion to other slums and refugee camps in Kenya.
From 5-6 September, team lead and Senior Lecturer Dr Andrew Blaikie delivered a week-long Primary Eye Care workshop in Isiolo County, Kenya, with the African Inland Church Health Ministry and CBM Global Disability UK. One hundred healthcare workers were trained and are now ready to cascade training to the wider region.
On 13 September, Dr Blaikie presented a pre-recorded lecture on the Arclight at the Global Disability Innovation Hub meeting in London. The presentation was conducted on behalf of CBM Global Disability Inclusion UK, with whom Dr Blaikie has partnered since 2011 to bring inclusive eye care to remote communities.
Also in September, Dr Blaikie delivered three half-day workshops to second-year ScotGEM students in the newly opened Fife Ophthalmic Resource for Global Education (FORGE) based in the Ophthalmology Department at Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline. The teaching was enhanced by the use of new ‘screen casting’ technology, allowing live examination video to be projected from an Arclight device combined with a mobile phone camera to larger wall-mounted monitors. This allowed the whole class to observe live examinations in detail in real time. The technology offers the opportunity for immediate replay and annotation of the captured examination to highlight important anatomical features, strengthening its educational impact.
In October, Dr Obaid Kousha, SCREDS Lecturer with the Arclight Project and Binocular Indirect Eye Screening Programmes lead, obtained a £10,000 grant in collaboration with colleagues in Malawi. The grant will support the development of cerebral malaria retinal simulation eyes and training of clinical officers in cerebral malaria diagnosis using the latest Arclight Project device – the Holo. Obaid will be travelling to Blantyre, Malawi in November to deliver the training as part of an implementation research study.
Last but not least, Dr Kousha also won the £2,000 Scottish Ophthalmological Club Bursary Award for the second year in a row this month. This is also the fourth time in the past six years that the Arclight team has received this prestigious prize. Dr Kousha presented his diabetic retinopathy screening work from Sulawesi, Indonesia, funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund and the University Impact Fund at the Club’s Autumn Meeting. He aims to use the prize to develop retinopathy of prematurity simulation eyes for the Holo.