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Introduction: The appropriate education for eye health workers is a key determinant of sustainable eye health care systems, and the solution to avoidable blindness and visual impairment. The Mozambique Eye care Project (MEP), is developing the country's first indigenously trained optometrists using a competency-based education curriculum.
Aims: The principal aim is to evaluate the exit clinical competencies of the first optometry graduates in Mozambique and to inform the evaluation of the competency curriculum.
Methods: Using UK based competencies as a benchmark; nine final year students were examined to assess competences in six core subjects.Further information about factors relating to their performance in these competencies was gained through semi-structured interviews with course developers and lecturers.
Results: All the students were competent at communication, professional conduct and methods of ophthalmic examination. None were competent at visual function and only four at ocular anatomy and binocular vision.
a) Student learning experience: Lecturer background and training influenced student training as all the lecturers had trained in different countries. A clinical training protocol need to be implemented to optimise clinical competencies.
b) Existing healthcare context:Enhanced training needs should be addressed in clinics with more support staff and time to deal with complex patients.
c) Student capacity: Students that are more suitable for the course should be selected.
Shah, K., Loughman, J., ''Evaluations of Exit Competencies of Optometrists in Mozambique'', European Academy of Optometry, Malaga, 2013.