Moran Team Trains Nurses on Front Lines of Eye Care in Tanzania

Mar 23, 2020 1:15 PM


During Moran’s most recent Allied Ophthalmic Training Program trip to Tanzania, 21 nurses learned and honed a range of eye care skills.
During Moran’s most recent Allied Ophthalmic Training Program trip to Tanzania, 21 nurses learned and honed a range of eye care skills.

Continuing work to make eye care more accessible in Tanzania, the John A. Moran Eye Center's Global Outreach Division conducted a second Allied Ophthalmic Training Program mission in February. 

Tanzania is one of the poorest regions in Africa, with high rates of cataracts and other blinding conditions. Access to health care, especially in rural areas, is minimal. Because the country of almost 55 million has just 55 ophthalmologists, Moran is training local nurses to serve as a front-line of defense for screenings and referrals to physicians. 

A class during Moran’s most recent Allied Ophthalmic Training Program trip to Tanzania.
A class during Moran’s most recent Allied Ophthalmic Training Program trip to Tanzania.

Taking Eye Care Skills to the 'Next Level'

During the week-long training, 21 nurses from seven regions of the country gathered at the Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza. They came to learn and hone a range of eye care skills, from taking patient histories and checking visual acuity to examining, diagnosing, and recommending treatments. Each day began with a lecture followed by hands-on practice, with participants acting as patients. 

Instructors included three Moran-trained ophthalmologists who live and work in Tanzania: Drs. Frank Sandi, Christopher Mwanza, and Evarista Mgaya. Moran Eye Center technicians Lori McCoy, Jacqueline Pullos, and Julie Harmon worked in groups and one-on-one with the nurses. The Moran team will be following up with the nurses over the next year. 

A group shot during Moran’s most recent Allied Ophthalmic Training Program trip to Tanzania.

“The group came away ready to take their skills to the next level. They’ve already been putting their knowledge to use, screening patients in their communities,” said McCoy. “Since the day they left, we’ve been discussing cases and diagnoses and sharing exam photos with questions on a free messaging app.” 

“Our program works with governments in developing nations and with international partners to train doctors, nurses, and health care workers to provide care to their people as we support them along the way. Lasting change requires sustainability.”

Craig Chaya, MD, co-medical director of Moran’s Global Outreach Division

Moran's Model for Sustainability

Each participant in Moran’s Allied Ophthalmic Training courses has access to the curriculum on a Google classroom and will participate in monthly interactive reviews with instructors.

Thanks to the Joseph and Kathleen Sorenson Legacy Foundation, which generously funded the latest week of training in Mwanza. All of Moran’s outreach work is supported solely by donors. Learn more here. 

“Swooping into a developing nation, performing surgeries, and then leaving does not address the long-term challenge of access to care,” said Craig Chaya, MD, co-medical director of the Global Outreach Division. “Our program works with governments in developing nations and with international partners to train doctors, nurses, and health care workers to provide care to their people as we support them along the way. Lasting change requires sustainability.”

vision outreach patient care