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Vision 2020 LINK programme representatives visit the City Sight clinic
Health Series: International

Raising standards of ophthalmic nursing care in Africa

City’s School of Health Sciences welcomed representatives from Ghana, Tanzania and Botswana for three days of training and discussion as part of the Vision 2020 LINKS programme

by Shamim Quadir (Senior Communications Officer)

The Vision 2020 LINKS programme works to improve the quality and quantity of eye care training in healthcare institutions in Africa through linking them with partner institutions in the UK.

This week, staff from City, University of London's divisions of Optometry & Visual Sciences and Nursing welcomed LINKS representatives from Ghana, Tanzania and Botswana, along with their UK counterparts, for three-days of ophthalmic nursing training and discussion as part of the programme.

Dr Michelle Hennelly, is Vision 2020 Programme Director and Programme Director of City’s MSc in Advanced Ophthalmic Nurse Practitioner (MSc in Advanced Practice in Health and Social Care)/MSc in Clinical Optometry. Reflecting on the visit, she said:

Following our initial day of meetings to establish the training needs and learning outcomes, the key learning points were addressed with action plans agreed on the final day. Action plans will be revised on a yearly basis enabling the development plans to evolve and be responsive to patients. The aim is for as many relevant practitioners as possible to acquire the ophthalmic skills necessary by enabling easier access to training and facilitating specialisation. Many thanks to the City’s Alison Coutts, Lynda Filer and Ian Collins who each made a fantastic contribution to the course.

Dr Lia Litosseliti, Associate Dean International in the School of Health Sciences, welcomed the LINKS representatives to the School and commented on the initiative:

'We are delighted that we can play our part in facilitating the development of ophthalmic nursing training to degree level in three Sub-Saharan African contexts. We look forward to supporting our partners as much as learning from them and to contributing to efforts to build LINK support for ophthalmic nursing between Africa and the UK.'

Dr Lia Litosseliti, Ms Vumila B. Mmari, Ms Stella Anti-Boasiako, Ms Chatawana Molao, Ian Collins, Dr Michelle Hennelly, Mrs Denise Mabey, Ms Claire Studley-Scott, Ms Keeleditse Manka Ndlovu, Mr Sanjeev Heemraz at the University’s City Sight Clinic, Northampton Square Campus

Denise Mabey LINK co-ordinator at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) took part in the visit and commented:

‘It has been an inspiring three days, seeing how Michelle and her team have taken the requests from the three countries, who are at various stages in their curriculum development, and brought out common learning themes. We have really moved forward and have exciting action plans.’

Visiting Link Representatives from Ghana, Tanzania and Botswana and their UK institution counterparts

  • Ms Stella Antwi-Boasiako (Korle Bu teaching Hospital, Ghana) and Ms Helen Gibbons (Moorfields Eye Hospital, London)
  • Ms Vumillia B. Mmari (Ministry of Heath, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Tanzania) and Mr Sanjeev Heemraz (St Thomas’ Hospital, London)
  • Ms Chatawana Molao, Ophthalmic Nursing Department at Ministry of Health) and Ms Keeleditse Manka Ndlovu (Botswana) and Claire Studley Scott (Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge)
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