Sunday, 14 December 2008
Merry christmas and happy new year from BICO
Greetings from Kigali,Rwanda! A few pictures (kigali motorcycle taxis) for you to view
On behalf of all of staff of Blantyre Institute for community Ophthalmology (BICO) in Malawi, I would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year 2009.
Since the launch of BICO in mid 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, I have been on the run up and down to make things moving. A lot of thanks should go to BICO’s project coordinator, Ruby who also worked hard to put all logistics in place.
As a blog from Kigali ,Rwanda where I am conducting the last BICOs assignemnet for 2008 and where I will spend my Christmas and New year, I would like to thank all of you who have supported us in either reading this blog and sending comments ,or giving us some work to do .
This year our major research achievements included the childhood blindness pilot project in Mulanje, and the Trachoma prevalence survey in Malawi.
The idea to start BICO 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.
Within a year BICO has spreads its wings across the border and helped in capacity building in Malawi and other countries
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.