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Prevention of Avoidable Blindness Program in Sumbawanga, Tanzania

Prevention of Avoidable Blindness Program in Sumbawanga, Tanzania

By Dr. Karsten Paust – Project director – TanZanEye e.V.

In October 2021, we held the second teaching and training programme for eye healthcare workers at different levels (ophthalmic nurses, optometrists, assistant medical officers / cataract surgeons, medical doctors).

Two ophthalmologists from the Global Health department of the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) were presenting on various topics in the field of ophthalmology. They started with anatomy, and then went on to subjects like taking history and finished with examining the fundus reflex. There were three separate groups, one each, who met online for this.

The other two groups deepened their theoretical knowledge with practical exercises. The focus here was on the Arclight Ophthalmoscope ( – an all-encompassing, inexpensive tool for eye examinations on patients. For the more than 40 ophthalmic nurses taught, the Arclight is their main tool.

The programme also included examinations of children to detect lens opacification or (undetected fatal) retinoblastoma at an early stage. Through these training courses, the ophthalmic nurses also become aware of the important work they do on site in their dispensaries.


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