The Mozambique Eyecare Project is training Mozambique’s first professional optometrists who will provide a sustainable and comprehensive eye-care service as an integral part of the national health system. Mozambique currently has 17 ophthalmologists for a population of approximately 23 million, very few optometrists and few mid level ophthalmic technicians. Over the five years of the project, the Mozambican People will benefit from comprehensive eye examinations and the provision of glasses which until now are simply not available to them.
The Mozambique Eyecare Programme is a partnership.The programme will facilitate the development, implementation and evaluation of a regional optometry model for Lusophone Africa. It will encompass the involvement of staff from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and University of Ulster (Ulster), in collaboration with the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE) and Lúrio University in Mozambique, and supported by the Mozambique Eye Care Coalition (MECC – a coalition of NGDO’s and Mozambique Ministry of Health). A regional College of Optometry, situated at Lúrio University campus, will act as a centre for undergraduate optometric education and postgraduate research.
The countries targeted to benefit from this training program are Lusophone countries of Angola, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome e Principe and Cape Verde. By 2015, more than 30 optometrists will have been trained to deliver primary eye care and refractive services to address the needs of the people in Lusophone Africa who currently have no access to eye care.
In addition, an Optical Workshop, with trained technical and administrative personnel, will be developed as part of the Training School to provide affordable spectacles to those in need of them.
After the implementation of the 5-year cycle pilot project, it is hoped that a successful, well-developed and sustainable system for training for optometric personnel for Lusophone Africa would have been developed. This model is similar to that being implemented in Malawi for Anglo-phone Southern Africa region.