2018 COECSA Scientific Conference and Oculoplasty Workshop

HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologists and In-Country Partners Attend the 6th COECSA Scientific Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The 6th Annual College of Ophthalmology of Eastern Central and Southern Africa (COECSA) Scientific Conference was held August 29-31 at the United Nations Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In attendance was HCP Co-Founder, Dr. Geoff Tabin; HCP Board Member, Dr. Guy Kezirian; HCP International Fellow, Dr. Allison Jarstad; HCP Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist Jamie Clearfield and a number of HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologists including former HCP International Fellows, Dr. Zvi Kresh and Dr. Anya Gushchin.

According to the COECSA conference website, “since its inception in 2013, the Annual COECSA Congress has served as a leading forum for exchange of ideas, knowledge and information relating to ophthalmology in the ECSA region. With a strong focus on the unique challenges and emerging opportunities facing eye care, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, this year’s theme is: “Stand for Action! Eye Care and 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 HCP In-Country Partner Ophthalmologists also spoke at the conference, including Dr. Tiliksew Teshome of Menelik II Hospital in Addis Ababa and Dr. Ciku Mathenge of the Rwanda Institute of International Ophthalmology in Kigali.

“COECSA is an amazing opportunity to network and learn from eye care professionals from 20 different countries - it truly is a unique experience to learn best practices and hear challenges and success stories from colleagues around the world! - HCP Monitoring and Evaluation SpecialistJamie Clearfield

Simultaneously, an Oculoplasty Symposium, organized by Dr. Meseret Ejigu of Menelik II Hospital, was held from August 30-31. During this event, the first of its kind in Ethiopia, HCP-sponsored speakers from the United States, Nepal, Ethiopia and Israel gave lectures on a variety of topics, including eyelid and lacrimal disorders and management, and orbital and eyelid malignancy.

On the final day of the conference, International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) representative Professor Karl Golnik and Dr. Ciku Mathenge, led a Residency Program Directors Workshop geared towards building skills necessary for effective knowledge and skills transfer. This builds upon HCP’s ongoing efforts in collaboration with the ASCRS Foundation to strengthen the ophthalmology residency programs in Ethiopia.

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“COECSA has been great. It’s wonderful to hear updates on the progress of eye care across the African continent. I’m learning so much about the challenges we face here, as well as the proposed solutions to addressing eye care needs across the Eastern, Central and Southern regions of the continent. I am looking forward to working alongside a number of ophthalmologists from all over the world that I’ve met here at the conference, not only during my fellowship this year, but for the rest of my career.”

– HCP International Fellow, Dr. Allison Jarstad