CureBlindness | LIVE Classroom Hosts Residents from Rwanda for First…
Ashiyana Nariani trains residents

Dr. Ashiyana Nariani leads hands-on surgical training for residents during the Ethiopia Live Classroom.

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LIVE Classroom Hosts Residents from Rwanda for First Time

news | Rwanda | Mar 27, 2024

Three days of instruction combined classroom learning with hands-on training to enhance residents' knowledge from Ethiopia and Rwanda.

HCP Cureblindness is committed to building capacity to allow for the development of self-sustainable systems of eye care in low- and middle-income countries. LIVE Classroom remains a linchpin in this plan, bringing global thought leaders and top-tier surgeons to lead learnings to participating residents. It’s HCP’s long-standing relationships with top teaching and academic institutions both in the US and globally that allow for the success of this program.

For the first time, residents from Rwanda joined in the three-day event which combines classroom instruction with hands-on training. Held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 99-percent of Ethiopian residents participated, bringing the total number of attendees at the February training to 124.

“Our faculty made up of both international and national superstars exposed students to techniques that many of them would never otherwise have,” explains LIVE Classroom coordinator Dr. Ashiyana Nariani. “In Ethiopia, we invited all of the resident directors to participate. This allowed HCP to ‘train the trainers’ and expand learnings well beyond only those who attended.” Nariani serves as HCP’s Senior Technical Advisor, Ophthalmic Training and Research. She coordinates LIVE and Virtual Classroom to supplement gaps in resident programs in countries where HCP works.

Live Classroom attendees
LIVE Classroom attendees in Addis Abada, Ethiopia.

In many cases, residents from Ethiopia and Rwanda have very little exposure to sub-specialty training. When a patient presents with a particular ailment they’re unfamiliar with they often rely on learnings available on YouTube to diagnose and treat. Faculty led attendees through intensive learnings on multiple sub-specialties including (but not limited to) ocular oncology, retina, cornea, glaucoma, and pediatric ophthalmology.

In the United States, most residents attend conferences with numerous educational offerings. Most (if not all) residents in Ethiopia and Rwanda do not have the resources to attend such meetings. LIVE Classroom pays all expenses including travel that allow residents to attend. “This makes LIVE Classroom even more unusual,” explains Nairiani.

HCP is building community across countries by bringing together residents, resident directors and faculty; creating opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas and mentorship.

“It adds a lot of knowledge to my education,” says one resident. “It is unique in that I got a chance to be part of a prestigious group of people with a proficiency in the subject matter.”

Specialty laser training
Specialty PRP laser training will allow for better treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

Another comments, “This is an opportunity to learn from a different perspective and dedicated specialists that wouldn't be accessible in our settings. I also appreciated the practical transfer of skills and it would be beneficial to add more wet labs.”

Described by HCP’s Nariani as a ‘truly amazing teaching and learning experience,’ LIVE Classroom credits its success to the talents of its national and international faculty and resident programs for ‘leaning in’ to embrace everything that is packed into three very full days.

Twenty (a combination of residents and resident directors) arrived early to participate in small breakout sessions to learn proper technique and sterilization to administer eye injections. Prior to this training, most (if not all) had never been properly trained. Injections incorrectly given in the eye can lead to blindness or detached retinas. Resident directors were given extra training to take these new skills back to their home hospitals to share proper technique.

Immediately following the LIVE Classroom in Ethiopia, instructors traveled to Accra, Ghana to conduct similar training there with Ghanaian residents. Plans for 2024 include expanding Virtual Classroom to Eritrea and Tanzania.

LIVE Classroom compliments HCP’s 18-month Virtual Classroom, a volunteer-based experience that supplements a country’s current resident program through monthly zoom-based learnings.

LIVE Classroom 2024 Faculty

Dr. James Addy, Country Director, HCP(Ghana)
Dr. Akwasi Ahmed, Medical Director, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (Ghana)
Dr. Amos Aikins, Retina Clinic, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (Ghana)
Dr. Kwadwo Amoah, Ophthalmologist, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (Ghana)
Dr. Peter Armah, Ophthalmologist, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (Ghana)
Dr. Tesedeke Asaminew, President, Ophthalmology Society of Ethiopia (Ethiopia)
Dr. Sean Collon, Global Ophthalmology Fellow, HCP (United States)
Dr. John Cropsey, Rwanda International Institute of Ophthalmology (RIIO) (Rwanda)
Dr. Vera Essuman, Head of Ophthalmology, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (Ghana)
Dr. Gladys Fordjour, Cornea Surgeon, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (Ghana)
Dr. Daniel Getaneh, Head of Ophthalmology, Wolaita Sodo University (Ethiopia)
Dr. David Khorram, Director, Global Ophthalmology, University of Virginia (United States)
Dr. Seth Lartey, Department Head, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (Ghana)
Dr. Hiwot Degineh Mengistie,Chief Clinical Officer, Bahir Dar Specialty Eye Center (Ethiopia)
Dr. Ashiyana Nariani, Senior Technical Advisor, Ophthalmic Training and Research, HCP (India)
Dr.Taj Nasser, Cataract and Refractive Surgeon, Parkhurst Vision (United States)
Dr. Matt Oliva, Cataract and Cornea Surgeon, HCP Board Chair (United States)
Dr. Audrey Rostov, Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgeon (United States)
Dr. Kumale Tolesa, Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Jimma University (Ethiopia)
Dr. Addisu Worku, Residency Coordinator, Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia)

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