Addressing The Eye Health Workforce Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa: Business As Usual is Not An Option
International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
IAPB Policy Paper
The purpose of this study was to assess the number, distribution and retention of eye health personnel.
The objective of the study was to address knowledge gaps on human resources for policy development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A mapping of eye health human resources was conducted in 21 Sub-Saharan African countries.
The cataract surgical rates are low due to lack of equipment, poor referral systems, maldistribution of personnel, lack of treatment knowledge and high cataract surgical cost.
There is a shortage of ophthalmologists, optometrists, ophthalmic clinical officers, ophthalmic nurses, optometric technicians, orthoptists and primary health care workers throughout the region.
Increasing investment in the eye health workforce and integrating the eye health workforce into overall human resources for health strategies is crucial.
Training of eye care personnel in Africa is critical to avoid preventable blindness.