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Orientation Meeting for the implementation of the WHO AFRO Primary Eye Care Training Manual in Lusophone Member States

Published: 16.04.2020

In 2018 WHO AFRO published The Primary Eye Care training manual, the purpose of which manual is to provide guidance in the design, implementation and evaluation of a course that aims to build and strengthen the capacity of health personnel to manage eye patients at primary-level health facilities in the African Region. Its content focuses on simple evidence-based practice that can be easily carried out in primary-level health facilities all over Africa.

The manual is intended for use by course directors and facilitators. Its intended audience includes all persons who wish to commission, support or offer a course serving the above aims, including pre-service training. This manual sets out the requisite steps for the preparation and organization of such a course.

In 2019 IAPB supported WHO AFRO in sensitising the Anglophone and Francophone countries of Africa on the PEC manual.  In February 2020, the Lusophone countries[1] were orientated on the training manual, following its translation into Portuguese.

The WHO AFRO NCD cluster held a two-day Orientation Meeting in Maputo, Mozambique, attended by Primary Care Unit Heads/Public Health Department Directors, National Eye Care Coordinators and Eye Health Partners of the Lusophone countries in the Region in order to support them in implementing the training manual at national level and to develop a plan for the its implementation.

While each country developed its own implantation plan, there we common objectives across countries:

  • Customization of manual to specific countries
  • Determine which cadre will be trained in PEC
  • Determine who will be the master trainers for each country
  • Determine the size and location for implementation i.e. district pilot or national rollout
  • Engage relevant stakeholders and mobilise support for the implementation
  • Secure the necessary resources for the rollout and sustained implementation

Countries have been requested to submit their finalised implementation plans to WHO AFRO who will then communicate them to IAPB members with a view on seeking their support for the implementation.   Country representatives were encouraged to advocate for the implementation of the PEC Training Manual upon their return to their countries.  The success in Rwanda was highlighted as an example that PEC could be strengthened and indeed implemented at the national level.

[1] Mozambique, Cape Verde, Angola, Sao Tome and Principe and Guinea Bissau