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Publication Date: 18 January 2013
The project to develop community based eyecare services for Ghana moved forward this week when specialist nurses from Moorfields Eye Hospital undertook a three-day visit to the country to identify the ophthalmic training requirements for local staff.
The project to support clinical training to develop eyecare services for the country and ultimately the West Africa region received funding from the UK’s Heath Training Partnership Scheme in December. Approximately 2.6 million people in West Africa are blind, but 80% of the blindness could be prevented or treated if the manpower and resources were available and accessible to poor communities.
Moorfields director of nursing and allied health professionals Tracy Luckett, theatre sister Pearl Naawwu and Clinical lead nurse (education and research) Helen Gibbons, are meeting local healthcare staff and visiting facilities to scope the training plan which will enable nurses from Moorfields to provide specialist training at the new eye hospital at Korle Bu when it opens in May.
The training programme will continue on an on-going basis until the ophthalmic training module has been established. Moorfields staff are participating on a voluntary basis.
In the next two and a half years Moorfields Lions Korle Bu Trust will be working to:
- Provide surgery programmes and training.
- Establish community referral care pathways and integrate them into community health care system in Accra, Central Ghana with the hope that this can then be replicated as a model for other areas in Ghana and West Africa.
- Improve efficiency and integration of care pathways within the Eye Department at Korle Bu hospital in Ghana as a leading eye training centre for West Africa
- Continue the recent success of the “train the trainer” eye care programme for Ghana and establish for West Africa a strong faculty which can train and provide teaching courses
The three nurses led by Tracy Luckett said before leaving the UK on Wednesday
(January 16) they were looking forward to meeting Ghanaian and West African colleagues and working with them to strengthen local protocols and nursing skills as part of the overall plan to develop their own specialist training programme and integrated community-based eye health care model.
Notes to editors:
- Moorfields is one of the world’s leading eye hospitals, providing expertise in clinical care, research and education. We have provided excellence in eye care for more than 200 years and we continue to be at the forefront of new breakthroughs and developments. We are an integral part of one of the UK’s first academic health science centres, UCL Partners, and were one of the first NHS organisations to achieve foundation trust status in 2004.
- We treat the entire range of eye diseases, from common complaints to rare conditions which require treatments not available anywhere else in the UK. We dealt with more than 475,000 patient visits in 2011/12 at our main hospital base in London’s City Road and at 19 other sites in and around the capital, enabling us to provide expert care closer to patients’ homes.
- With our research partners at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, we run one of the largest ophthalmic research programmes in the world and have the highest measure of scientific productivity and impact in the world for our research activity.
- For further information, please visit www.moorfields.nhs.uk.