2017 COECSA Scientific Conference, Residency Program Coordinator Meeting & Phaco Training in Uganda

HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologists and In-Country Personnel Attend the 5th COECSA Scientific Conference in Kampala, Uganda

The 5th Annual College of Ophthalmology of Eastern Central and Southern Africa (COECSA) Scientific Conference was held at Speke Resort Munyonyo Hotel in Kampala, Uganda from August 16-18. In attendance was HCP Co-Founder Dr. Geoff Tabin, HCP International Fellow Dr. Neda Nikpoor, and a number of HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologists, including the Residency Program Coordinators from the five main teaching hospitals (Menelik II, Hawassa, Gondar, Jimma and St Paul’s) and the Sinskey Eye Institute in Ethiopia.

According to the COECSA website, the conference’s goal was “to underscore the relevance of Collaboration and Networking unmasking the Opportunities in Eye Care especially as we realign ourselves to address the sustainable development goals.” The activities and featured lectures were focused on a variety of topics intended to advance eye care through teamwork and collaboration. Many of HCP In-Country Partner Ophthalmologists also spoke at the conference, including Dr. Daniel Getaneh and Dr. Kumale Tolesa, both of whom we have recently featured in profiles. When asked how this training benefitted him, Dr. Yonas Mitku, an Ophthalmology Resident at Menelik II Hospital in Arba Minch replied,

“It gave an opportunity to attend research presentations, workshops and meetings. I also got the chance to meet many amazing people and shared their experience and took valuable advice from them. It also gave me an insight how to lead and to think out of the box. All in all, it was an invaluable experience for me.”

In the spirit of the COECSA conference theme of “Teamwork in Eye Care,” the Residency Program Coordinators, who were sponsored by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Foundation to attend the conference, 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. This meeting is the second 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 to improve training and quality of care throughout the country.

Immediately following the COECSA conference Drs. Tabin and Nikpoor taught a phacoemulsification course with Vision Care Seoul and Vision Care USA from August 19-20. According to their website, Vision Care is “an international relief organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness through global projects and initiatives. Vision Care is a registered organization under the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), an affiliate of the World Health Organization (WHO).”

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