Sunday, 27 April 2008
Blantyre Institute for Community ophthalmology (BICO) - a dream or reality?
BICO will be formed in late 2008 with the mission of contributing to the prevention and control of blindness in Malawi through conducting practical research, teaching, training, consultancy and advocacy in eye care delivery.
The idea to start the institute was conceptualised after realising that despite nearly 10 years after the launch of the VISION2020: THE RIGHT TO SIGHT ,the global initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness and the various successes/ achievements in other areas of the world;Malawi has still not made much progress especially in the area of research on practical preventative community eye care blindness programmes.
The centre aims to conduct and disseminate findings of research being done eye care professionals and other stake holders in the region and transfer the best of its expertise and experience to an ever-increasing number of eye care institutes across Southern Africa. The centre will strategically be located within the University of Malawi College of Medicine teaching eye hospital, the Lions Sight first eye hospital in Blantyre.
The planned activities of the institute contributing to eye care in Malawi and other neighbouring developing countries can be broadly classified under the following areas:
• Capacity building of community eye care health workers
• Training Programmes – focussing on community eye care delivery
• Research capacity building through conducting practical local research (operational and health services research )
• Consultative support to countries with no expertise in community eye health
• Advocacy and contribution to Eye Care Programmes at National and International level through the Government and International NGOs.
• Fund raising for eye care service delivery
BICO as a centre within the Lions Sight Eye hospital, College of medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre will work closely with the collaborating Community Ophthalmology centres within the region (Kilimanjaro Centre for community Ophthalmology-KCCO in Tanzania) and also with International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH, London); which continues to take a leading role in developing Community eye health workers for Africa and elsewhere.
BICO is currently looking for organisations /persons who can be involved in supporting research related and eye service delivery fund raising activities.
If you know of any contacts or are interested in the idea please communicate with me.
If you have objections to this the idea also contact me stating the reasons why you do so.
Will be waiting for your comments!!!