Thanks to financial contribution from the Else Kröner Fresenius Stiftung (Germany), Light for the World launched its first multi-country Glaucoma programme called “Addressing Challenges of Glaucoma – the Silent Thief of Sight” aiming to improve glaucoma services in Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Ethiopia at the end of 2018. As one of the first interventions of this programme, in February 2019, a group of high-level glaucoma experts and general ophthalmologists came together for a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosted by the Ethiopian Society of Ophthalmology (OSE) to develop a practical toolkit for glaucoma management in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This work was supported by the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) and some sections of the ICO Guidelines for Glaucoma Eye Care were adapted for this toolkit.
Participants represented all SSA regions as well as global and regional eye health organizations such as the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), the College of Ophthalmology for Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (COECSA), the Francophone African Ophthalmic Society (SAFO), the West African College of Surgeons (WACS), the African Glaucoma Consortium, the Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa Glaucoma and Ophthalmological Societies, as well as the scientific community and major international training institutions.
The group was able to develop the crucial outline for a practical toolkit on glaucoma management for SSA which will complement the important resources existing already, such as the ICO Glaucoma Guidelines. This unprecedented and dynamic toolkit, developed and owned by African eye care professionals and glaucoma specialists, is instrumental to guide ophthalmologists, glaucoma specialists and glaucoma care team members and programme planners to set up integrated glaucoma care services adequate to their very own context and to strengthen the health systems sustainably.