Ophthalmological Society of Ethiopia (OSE) Conference, Residency Program Coordinator Meeting

HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologists, In-Country Personnel and HCP Staffers Attend 19th Annual Scientific Conference in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

The 19th Annual Scientific Session of the Ophthalmological Society of Ethiopia (OSE) Scientific Conference was held at the Blue Nile Resort in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia from Oct. 6-7. Presenters included HCP Board Member, Dr. Matt Oliva; Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology Head of Glaucoma Clinic and Research, Dr. Suman Thapa; HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologist, Dr. Matt Giegengack; Emory Eye Center Global Ophthalmology Fellow, Dr. Fran Wu and many HCP supported clinicians such as Dr. Sadiq Taju, Head of Pediatric Eye Care at Menelik II Hospital in Addis Ababa and OSE Executive Secretary. The theme of the OSE conference was “Research and Evidence for Better Eye Health Interventions.”

The conference began with a welcome address from OSE President Dr. Fitsum Bekele and then moved through an ambitious list of presentations. In the morning on this first day, Dr. Suman Thapa gave a presentation on Nepal’s National Blindness and Glaucoma Survey. Through the lens of a glaucoma specialist, Dr. Thapa spoke about what he learned from epidemiological studies done by researchers and the challenges for eye care services in Nepal. In the afternoon, Dr. Matt Giegengack gave an interesting talk on corneal tattooing, which is beneficial for dealing with photophobia on damaged irises. Dr. Giegengack followed this presentation with another on the diagnosis and management of Viral Keratitis, one of the leading causes of unilateral corneal blindness.

The second day continued with more presentations on eye care NGOs in Ethiopia and eye disease. Dr. Matt Oliva gave an in-depth presentation on the work of HCP and our impact since we began working in Ethiopia in 2009. After lunch, Drs. Wu and Taju gave informative talks on Retinoblastoma, a rare type of eye cancer that usually develops in early childhood.

In the evening of the final day, in-country Residency Program Coordinators from the five main teaching hospitals in Ethiopia took the opportunity to meet and discuss strategies for improving their respective ophthalmology residency programs, including increasing research efforts, improving teaching supplies and implementing more frequent residency exchanges.

The meeting was held at the Rahnile Resort in Bahir Dar and sponsored by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Foundation. This meeting is the final of three scheduled to take place this year as part of a larger collaboration between HCP, the ASCRS Foundation and Ethiopian teaching hospitals to establish dedicated coordinator positions for the ophthalmology residency programs in an effort to improve training and quality of care throughout the country.

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