In 2016 a course for ophthalmic nurses was conducted at McCord Eye Hospital in Durban by Jane Tapley (Orthopist) Julie Cloake (Ophthalmic nurse) and Teresa Sandinha (Ophthalmologist).
McCord Eye Hospital has become the central government ophthalmic hospital in Natal. Those attending the course were either ophthalmic nurses currently working in the Hospital or those working in rural clinics in the region.
As a result of this course (followed by a similar one in June 2017) we have decided to make McCord Eye Hospital the centre of a WSF training academy.
A New Approach
McCord Eye Hospital, with a convenient international airport, offers the outstanding advantages of its large size with plentiful teaching space and accommodation facilities. The presence of a large patient cohort greatly benefits the skills-based interactive teaching that we favour. This type of teaching, involving maximum participation of attendees, has evolved consequent to our evaluation and modification of many of the previous courses we have taught.
From McCord, which has a dynamic management team, we will conduct CPD courses for ophthalmic personnel, using teachers of the highest quality from both the UK and Africa.
These courses will help not only the upskilling of ophthalmic personnel in South Africa, where there is huge need, but will enable us to include workers from other sub-Saharan African countries, particularly those with whom we have already had contact. They will be enabled to attend through the awarding of WSF scholarships.
Such an approach will achieve maximum impact, allowing us to deliver education in Africa from an advantaged sophisticated environment to those from much less developed countries.
We believe that these courses will become an important part of our educational work in Africa.
Those attending these courses become part of the WSF family and will remain in regular email contact with us. This process prevents past mistakes, improves project quality and also enables us to offer continuing educational support.