Building Local Capacity | CureBlindness
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Building Local Capacity

Our mission is to build sustainable eye health care systems that function effectively over the long-term with minimal external involvement. We provide top-rate education and training opportunities at all levels of ophthalmology by working closely with a variety of partner institutions and affiliated ophthalmologists in the USA, South Asia, Africa and Europe.

Since 1994, more than 19,500 ophthalmic personnel (including over 550 doctors) from 43 countries have received specialized training at either their home institutions or at one of our partner training facilities (located in Nepal, India, England, Israel, Canada and the United States).

HCP’s main training facility for hands-on clinical surgical experience is the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO) in Kathmandu, Nepal. TIO provides a wide range of training opportunities, including both short- and long-term options for primary eye care workers, ophthalmic assistants, equipment maintenance personnel, optometrists, orthoptists, ophthalmic nurses, ophthalmology residents, and ophthalmologists.

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Residency Training Programs

Ophthalmology residents represent the future of ophthalmology for their countries, and high-quality programs are vital to establish sustainable eye care systems. HCP prioritizes strengthening ophthalmology residency programs in order to train young ophthalmologists who will operate at the highest international level of ophthalmology.

HCP’s Affiliated Ophthalmologists work with local residency directors in Nepal, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Bhutan on curriculum development, providing lectures while in-country and hands-on training through cataract campaigns and hospital based training programs. HCP also supports residency exchange programs to provide ophthalmology residents with enhanced clinical and surgical exposure.

Sub-Specialty Fellowship Training

Sub-specialty fellowships for foreign ophthalmologists consist of twelve months of training and include hands-on training at the fellow's home institution, hands-on training in Nepal or India, followed by observation at an academic medical center. Specialties include cornea, pediatrics, retina, glaucoma, and oculoplastics. Each fellow is paired with a mentor who prepares the specific course of study, appropriate to each fellow’s background and objectives.

Short-Term Cataract Surgery Training Programs

HCP supports cataract-training programs for ophthalmic teams from all over the developing world at training centers in South Asia as well as during cataract surgical interventions in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Beyond the clinical training, the trainees are introduced to a system of delivery that enables high-quality, cost-effective cataract surgery. When possible, HCP also uses outreaches to train local ophthalmologists on cornea transplant surgeries.

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Live Classroom

Live Classroom is an 18-month virtual program for ophthalmology residents in Nepal, Ghana and Ethiopia. It addresses one of the biggest challenges to building capacity in these countries: the low number of trained in-country doctors are too busy treating their backlog of patients to effectively train the next generation of ophthalmologists. Launched in 2023, it provides students with global educational support and mentorship from teachers with the expertise, time and bandwidth to engage residents.

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Prevention Training Programs

By training field health workers (known as Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in India and Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) in Nepal), HCP has created a system of first responders who can screen and provide first aid for eye injuries and illnesses. Many of these community health workers live and work in remote areas where access to eye care had not previously existed.

As of 2023, more than 900 community health workers have been trained, resulting in a total of 100,000 patients screened. Data shows that these health workers have successfully treated more than 50,000 men, women and children for corneal abrasions.