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Vision 2020 links programme – the RCOphth / COECSA link

The College has a Vision 2020 link with the College of Ophthalmologists of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (COECSA). There has been a link in place between the Eastern Africa College of Ophthalmologists (EACO) and the College since 2009, but this has recently expanded to broaden the countries involved as EACO has now become COECSA. The countries involved are:

ICEH links programme
The aim of this link is to build ophthalmic human resource capacity in these 8 countries in Africa by increasing the quality and quantity of eyecare training. This will empower the College of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa through RCOphth input regarding:

  • Examiner training and exam supervision
  • Training the trainers courses
  • Curriculum development including those for ophthalmic clinical officers (OCOs)
  • On-line CPD
  • Mentoring
  • Leadership
  • Diabetic Retinal Screening

This link has received a grant of £416,000 via the Health Partnership Scheme (HPS) funded by the Department for International Development (DfID) which is administered by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET)

The VISION 2020 Links Programme was launched in 2004 within the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) linking eye health institutions in the UK with overseas eye centres. The programme is designed to build the skills and capacity of eye institutions in developing countries, principally in Africa where the need is particularly great. The Programme links a training eye hospital in a developing country with a training eye unit in the UK (NHS hospital / University department) to facilitate knowledge and skills transfer (both clinical and managerial) over a period of 3-5 years or longer if needed. The Links Programme works with each overseas partner centre to identify its main needs and priorities and matches them with the UK institution that best meets those needs.

For more information about becoming involved in these ophthalmic links or to register your interests, please contact Marcia Zondervan, VISION 2020 Links Programme Manager, at [email protected] or visit the Links programme website at