1. TRAINING OF OMAs
Proyecto Vision, in collaboration with the Regional Health Bureau of Tigray has set up a course of studies for the obtention of the American Medical Ophthalmic Assistance, (OMA) degree. These are studies specializing in ophthalmology which last for a whole year and are followed by nurses who have already graduated and have been selected for these further studies. The reason why this new degree is needed is the lack of ophthalmologists: two ophthalmologists for 4 million inhabitants.
Proyecto Visión finances the entire studies and the upkeep and accommodation of the students, as well as that of teachers from several Ethiopian universities who collaborate in this project. In order to provide suitable accommodation for the ten students who each year follow these studies and their teachers, Proyecto Visión has built a school -residence close to Quiha Hospital.
76 students have graduated to date and a further ten have just now begun their studies. However, some 25% of them give up their jobs in order to change to another activity..
In agreement with the Health Bureau, OMAs are posted to various health centers throughout Tigray and Proyecto Visión supplies them with books and surgical equipment so that they can carry out their activities.
In any case this follow up can improve. P.Visión Sur is repeatedly suggesting they should take part in the tuition. Once they have obtained their degree, these OMAs are able to take care of the most common ophthalmological problems and to perform surgery on patients with trachoma.
2. TRAINING OF CATARACT SURGEONS IN COLLABORATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF MEKELLE
The first cataract surgeon course took place in 2009, when 5 OMAs who had been chosen to follow the course were trained.
The course lasts for two and a half years, so if we take into account the one year needed to obtain the OMA degree, this means that the Cataract Surgeons will have been training for a total of three and a half years
This need for new degree has been determined by the lack of ophthalmologists and the high incidence of patients whose blindness is caused by cataracts.
3. OPTOMETRY COURSES
Overseas (VAO) in agreement with Proyecto Visión
has organized an optometry course at the Proyecto Visión School
Vision Aid Overseas Vision Aid Overseas is a BRITISH organization the aim of which is to provide optometry services. VAO visits patients at their centres and prescribe the glasses they should be wearing. This organization is implanted in six developing countries, Ethiopia being one of them. Vao carries out continuous training of the local staff so that they may acquire the necessary knowledge in order to visit patients , work on the lenses, assemble the glasses and also sell them. VAO provides the equipment, the frames and the lenses. They also collect used glasses and take them to the Centres so that they may be later adapted on the spot to suit each patient's needs.