The Kilimanjaro Center for Community Ophthalmology

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is an alliance of civil society organisations, corporates and professional bodies promoting eye health through advocacy, knowledge and partnerships.
Organisation: IAPB

KCCO Logo/ The Kilimanjaro Center for Community Ophthalmology

The Kilimanjaro Center for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO) works with partners to support the implementation of programmes in Africa in the areas of comprehensive eye care, childhood blindness and low vision, and trachoma elimination.

Through its three pillars of activities (planning and change implementation, training and capacity building, and operational research), KCCO is currently supporting activities in Benin, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. They focus on strengthening local capacity to meet the eye care needs of communities, particularly the most disenfranchised and vulnerable. At the hospital and eye clinic level, recognizing that good people cannot do good work in bad systems, KCCO works to strengthen the management systems that enable ophthalmologists, eye nurses, primary health workers, and managers of eye care programs to do their jobs efficiently and productively. In the fight against trachoma, KCCO is an implementing partner for trachoma elimination activities in northern Tanzania, as well as a technical leader for operational research and capacity strengthening activities. KCCO is also leading the development of comprehensive childhood blindness programmes throughout Africa.

They keep equity and inclusion at the forefront of our work. KCCO has been a leader in developing gender-sensitive interventions to increase the uptake of eye care services among women and girls in SSA since 2001. They also employ a gender coordinator to ensure that all eye care projects address gender inequity, using a variety of approaches to reach women. They’re part of a global effort to test strategies for improving the use of eye care services by women and for promoting gender equity across the globe. They are currently implementing and evaluating novel community-led interventions involving micro-finance groups in Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Over the past 18 years, KCCO has been active in providing eye care workers and ministries of health in Africa with current and relevant information related to eye health and community eye health. KCCO has played a leadership role developing diverse resources, including preferred practices manuals and reports, such as:

KCCO also offers several courses throughout each year as part of its commitment to capacity-building for eye health professionals in Africa. These courses are especially targeted toward ophthalmologists, hospital directors, programme managers, nurses, and low vision specialists.

As all KCCO activities are evidence-based, we are on the lookout for new multidisciplinary partnerships to tackle emerging priorities, such as the need to strengthen health systems for the prevention and control of diabetic retinopathy in Africa.

To learn more about who they are and what they do, get information on their programmes and research activities and access numerous resources, please go to http://www.kcco.net/. You can also follow them on social media. Contact person: Dr. Robert Geneau, Executive Director : rgeneau@kcco.net