Human Resources for Eye Health

Contributed by Renee du Toit

It has long been recognised that one of the greatest challenges to reducing the prevalence of avoidable blindness is the lack of trained eye care personnel and the effective use of the existing personnel. Maldistribution of personnel (in rural or remote areas), under-productivity, quality assurance issues, and inefficient referral systems are amongst the problems contributing to the high levels of avoidable vision impairment around the world.

Human Resources are one of the building blocks of a health system and a well equipped, trained, managed and distributed health workforce is essential for a fully functional health system, responsive to the needs of the community it serves. What are needed are Human Resources for Health (HRH) strategies that have eye health embedded in them and with appropriate attention and investment attached to them.

To respond to this, WHO’s ‘Universal Eye Health: a Global Action Plan 2014 – 2019’ has prioritised the ‘development and maintenance of a sustainable workforce for the provision of comprehensive eye care services as part of the broader human resources for health workforce’ as being a key action for reaching the objective of Universal Eye Health.

As the development of an effective eye health workforce is paramount to achieving universal eye health, IAPB has put together a list of key references and publications to serve as initial guidance on HREH issues and solutions. We hope to build on these as more resources come to our attention, so if you know of a publication you think should appear here please get in touch.

Key References

ICEH, AVRI, Mapping Human Resources for Eye Health in Sub-Saharan Africa: Progress towards Vision 2020, Human Reources for Health, 2014 click here

ICEH, AVRI, Mapping Human Resources for Eye Health in Sub-Saharan Africa: Progress towards Vision 2020 – Country Fact Sheets click here

Resnikoff, Felch et al, The Number of Ophthalmologists In Practice and Training Worldwide, BJO, March 2012 click here

WHO, World Bank and USAID, Handbook on Monitoring and Evaluation of Human Resources for Health, 2009 click here

WHO, Increasing Access to Health Workers in Remote and Rural Areas through Improved Retention, 2010 click here

Chen, Buch, et al, A Survey of Sub-Saharan African Medical Schools, HRH, 10:4, 2-12 click here

Frenk, Chen et al, Health Professionals for a New Century: Transforming Education to Strengthen Health Systems in an Interdependent World, The Lancet, 29 November 2010 click here

Mullan, Frehywot et al, Medical Schools in Sub-Saharan Africa, The Lancet, 11 November 2010 click here

IAPB Africa HREH resources click here


IAPB Publications