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Ophthalmology, Health care sciences and services
Background - The Mozambique Eyecare Programme is funded by Irish Aid and designed to address the need for optometric education in Lusophone Africa. It is a multi-partner collaboration between Universidade Lúrio, Mozambique, Technological University Dublin, Ireland, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, and The International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE) an international Non Government Organisation. A key output from the programme is the development of an optometry school based at Universidade Lúrio, the first of its kind in Mozambique. The aim is to address unmet eye care needs through human resource development.
All students enrolled at Universidade Lúrio, including the optometry students, are required to participate in the One Student One Family programme. This initiative aims to improve the public health of disadvantaged communities in Nampula province through information dissemination and increased interaction between health science students and the general public. It also provides the students with the opportunity to interact with the community and apply their theoretical knowledge in the local context. This experience will enhance their patient care and as it is a community informed project, it ensures the wider eyecare programme follows a pro-poor approach.
Aim - This paper aims to analyse the lessons learnt from the programme so far.
Methods - Surveys and key informant interviews with optometry students, individuals within communities, teaching faculty and partners involved with the Mozambique Eyecare Project will form the basis of the analysis.
Results - The results are expected to indicate both the successes and failures of the One Student One Family programme. The results will contribute to the development of a framework to improve the programme in order to achieve the desired outcome of improved community eye health.
Conclusion - The Mozambique Eyecare Project is developing human resources in Lusophone Africa through a partnership linking higher education institutions in Europe and Africa. The One Student One Family programme addresses a current deficit in eyecare knowledge within the local community by transferring knowledge from optometry students to the general public.
In conclusion, innovative models of education and interaction between students and the community is necessary to address the eye care needs of the country, the region and the continent.
Thompson, S., Phelan, A. & Santana, T. (2011). One Student One Family and the Mozambique Eyecare Project. African Regional Conference on Community University Partnerships and Community Based Research, Dakar, Senegal. doi:10.21427/nwvb-h868
Irish Aid / Technological University Dublin