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One of the solutions to creating sustainable eye care structures is education of personnel. Mozambique currently has only 17 ophthalmologists for a population of 21 million and 34 trained Ophthalmic Technicians, the only two providers of refraction services within the local health system. There are no optometrists. The Mozambique Eyecare Project is funding the training of the country’s first optometrists at the University of Lurio in Nampula, Mozambique. Their core competencies will be evaluated with a view to creating best practise in education in a developing world environment.
This is a longitudinal evaluation of the refraction competencies of the first intake of 16 students. Data was compiled from questionnaires, interviews and exam results in the first two years and clinical patient exams to assess clinical competencies in the third year.
- Lecturer support and feedback seems to have the greatest effect on student performance.
- The evaluation has helped the partners to recruit and retain multilingual lecturers and to ensure they understand the importance of supporting students.
- It has assisted the module writers to develop international curriculum for developing countries where few students if any have any knowledge of Optometry.
The first students will graduate in December 2012 and have their clinical competencies assessed in relation to World Council of Optometry competencies.
Evaluations on their clinical skills will assist the course coordinators on how to better the course as the student’s progress. Continuous quality control of student learning and experience is of value both to the course funders and the university implementing the course.
Shah, K.:Student Experience in Optometry Education in Mozambique: Initial Challenges in an International Collaborative Program.European Academy of Optometry and Optics, Dublin, Ireland, 2012