President: Dr. Ibrahim Matende
Secretary General: Dr. Grace Ssali
Treasurer: Dr. Emeritus Chibuga
Contact Person: Mr. Josiah Onyango
Human resource for eye health (HReH) is a key challenge in the ECSA region and remains one of the principal Colleges of Ophthalmology of Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa (COECSA) mandates. The College opted to strategically address and promote specialty areas through specialty groupings referred to as Communities of practice.
Paediatric Ophthalmology and strabismus community is a key community in COECSA that brings together the team in the region. It is a young group with such great ambition yet still in its infancy. This professional association in the community facilitates connections among peers, provide access to knowledge exchange and encouraging skill development, fostering trust and a sense of common purpose, adding value to the professional lives of members, develop quality training and set standards for professional practice in Paediatric ophthalmology. The College is keen on supporting its development.
The members of the community have been instrumental in various key interventions in child eye health and fight against childhood blindness. One in such effort is the ‘Seeing is Believing’ (SiB) child eye health Programme in east Africa where many children have received key invaluable vision restoring services through various eye hospitals.
The community is pioneering a pediatric cataract oriented ophthalmic surgeons program to help address the backlog in childhood cataracts. Presently plans are underway to start a pediatric fellowship and strabismus training program in the region for COECSA. This is exciting news as it will help manage cost, personnel distribution and mitigate for the HReH agenda. There are limited places for such training in the region necessitating travel abroad where practice licenses, cultural change, sociopolitical limitations and limited hands on training are common. We target a rotation based ‘sandwich’ training approach utilizing facilities or institutions both local and global.
All these endeavors are aimed at revolutionizing the training approaches and practice for paediatric ophthalmologists in the ECSA region that will help to both encourage uptake of the sub-specialty and build expertise in this area.