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One of the solutions to creating sustainable eye care structures is education of personnel.The Technological University Dublin (DIT) with ICEE (International Centre of Eyecare Education) is developing and implementing a sustainable model for optometric education and eye care service delivery in Unilurio in Mozambique.The Mozambique Eyecare Project aims to train Mozambique’s first professional optometrists who will provide a sustainable and comprehensive eye-care system as an integral part of the national health system. Mozambique currently has only 15 ophthalmologists for a population of 21 million and 34 trained Ophthalmic Technicians the only providers of refraction services within the local health system.
Evaluate the confidence levels, knowledge and core competencies of the ophthalmic technicians in refraction to provide a better understanding of the existing situation.
i) Background questionnaire to obtain data on their years of experience and what training they had received.
ii) Investigative tools: Confidence levels questionnaire, oral refraction quiz and a refraction competency assessment
The OT’s were trained in 2 different institutions, some in Cuba some in Mozambique. The Cuban trained OT’s had studied refraction to different levels but due to lack of equipment had never practised basic retinoscopy or subjective. They were not competent in performing refractions unsupervised.
The ones trained in Mozambique had not studied refraction hence were not competent in performing refractions at all.
By identifying strengths and weaknesses of the OT’s refraction knowledge and skills, training and continuing education can be tailored accordingly. This information would also allow ICEE and DIT to compare and contrast refraction training for both the student Optometrists and the existing OT’s to improve overall refraction service provision in Mozambique.
Shah, K.:Evaluation of Ophthalmic Technicians, refractive service providers in Mozambique. American Academy of Optometry, Boston, USA, October 2011.