Human Resource Development [Archives:2001/26/Health]

June 25 2001

The Right to Sight – PART 5
Mahfouth A Bamashmus
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Ibn Al-Haitham Clinic
University of Science & Technology, Sana’a
[email protected]

Ahmed Al-Shabooti MD
Head of Ophthalmology Department
Al-Thawra Hospital, Sana’a
The major goal of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight is to make high quality eye care services available, accessible and affordable to all, through a sustainable delivery system. One of the key pre-requisites is the development of adequate, appropriate human resources. An analysis of current practices reveals problems related to number, quality of training, distribution and utilization of various categories of eye care personnel. Fundamentally, most eye care delivery services in developing countries lack appropriate human resource planning and, therefore, implementation of services is seriously affected.
Human resources are required for primary, secondary and tertiary levels of eye care, to provide the medical/technical, management/administrative and community eye health services. This is best carried out by an “eye care team”. Some of the services can best be achieved by integrating them into general health care systems in various communities.
For effective eye care delivery to populations, we have evolved a comprehensive model covering initially a population of 500,000.
The team essentially comprises one ophthalmologist supported by optometrists, ophthalmic technicians and ophthalmic nurses, a biomedical and maintenance technician, a management group and a support services group.
This model demands the following:
Close linkage with a training / tertiary care center
Linkage with the local community
Good infrastructure
High quality training of all personnel
Prompt and high quality service.
The demand for different categories of personnel varies across regions. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous shortage of all eye care professionals globally, the problem being most acute for categories other than ophthalmologists. Most countries have very poor or no infrastructure for such training, leading to a disproportionate higher number of ophthalmologists. In such circumstances, ophthalmologists perform tasks that do not require their level of training.
Reference: Gullapalli Rao. Human Resource Development. Community Eye Health. Volume13 (35) 2000.
Vision 2020 aims to prevent an additional 100 million men, women and children from becoming blind by the year 2020.