Addressing The Eye Health Workforce Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa: Business As Usual is Not An Option

  • The purpose of this study was to assess the number, distribution and retention of eye health personnel.

  • The objective of the study was to address knowledge gaps on human resources for policy development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • A mapping of eye health human resources was conducted in 21 Sub-Saharan African countries.

  • The cataract surgical rates are low due to lack of equipment, poor referral systems, maldistribution of personnel, lack of treatment knowledge and high cataract surgical cost.

  • There is a shortage of ophthalmologists, optometrists, ophthalmic clinical officers, ophthalmic nurses, optometric technicians, orthoptists and primary health care workers throughout the region.

  • Increasing investment in the eye health workforce and integrating the eye health workforce into overall human resources for health strategies is crucial.

  • Training of eye care personnel in Africa is critical to avoid preventable blindness.

Publication date

July 11, 2016


IAPB Policy Paper

Sponsor Institution



International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
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