Wednesday, 24 November 2010

BICO website

Blantyre Institute For community Ophthalmology (BICO) website has got all the information that you need to know about eye services in Malawi.

Have you checked the BICO website recently ? its getting better and better.

Any comment on it? here it is , just click on BICO below and it will take you to the site.


Promoting excellence in Community Eye Health.

Did you know that i am the research Director?

Did you know that your help is needed? Find out how.

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Celebrating the life of Prof Moses Chirambo

Celebrating the life of Prof Moses Chirambo
Prof Moses Chirambo sadly died on 14th August 2010 after having worked as an Ophthalmologist in Malawi for over 35 years.
But who was Chirambo?
Moses Chirambo born in 1939 came from the Northern Region of Malawi (Rumphi District) where he did his earlier education before going to Canada where he did medical degree. He eventually graduated as an Ophthalmologist from Hadassah Hebrew University in Jerusalem - Israel in 1972 under Professor Michaelson who noted that he would have a bright future.He spoke fluent Hebrew.Having returned to Malawi in 1973 he was the first Malawian Ophthalmologist, and he quickly made his name as a well known public health Ophthalmologist in the International ophthalmology sector.
In 1983, he established the Southern Africa Development corporation (SADC) school of Ophthalmology in Lilongwe, Malawi supported by Sight Savers International; this school has trained over 500 clinical officers and cataract surgeons (midlevel eye personnel) from all over SADC countries and beyond; and now several countries including Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia have started their own training programmes
In 1995, Chirambo got an International ward from the American Academy and IAPB for his fight in blindness; and continued to get several awards (too many to mention). He was a Regional advisor for Sight Savers International for a long time.
Between 1983 and 1987, Dr Chirambo and the team of International experts in ophthalmology conducted the first population based childhood blindness survey on vitamin A & Xerophthalmia studies in Africa and trachoma studies in the Lower Shire.
From only one mission eye hospital (NKHOMA) when Chirambo started Ophthalmologist, he managed to convince donors and supporting partners to build four additional eye hospital , initially one in each region (Blantyre , Lilongwe & Mzuzu) and then an additional one in Zomba.
Chirambo loved his country –despite having many opportunities he never left Malawi to work outside.
Chirambo was also not tribalistic and regionalist and did not have nepotistic ideas. In terms of eye care the central and the southern regions were markedly developed with infrastructure despite that he came from the Northern region, and it was only in 2007 that he negotiated for the hospital in Mzuzu.
There aren’t many doctors who have made much impact to the welfare of many poor residents in Malawi. The seeds he sowed (among the new ophthalmologists) are likely to go a long way as far as eye care is concerned in Malawi.
Dr Chirambo actively retired from Ophthalmology in 2008 when he was appointed Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Malawi.
Dr Chirambo actively retired from Ophthalmology in 2008 to pursue a career in politics (for the past 10 years he told me not to be involved in politics, so i do not believe he wanted to do this ) Nevertheless he was appointed Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Malawi in 2009 but sadly died before his political career could be assessed..
more Information Chirambo
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Zomba Central Hospital has a new eye wing

The opening of the newest Lions Sight First eye hospital in Zomba in September 2010 Malawi has seen Malawi have a total of five dedicate eye hospitals.
The hospital is a modern facility built by the Lions Club of Norway in collaboration with Lions Club of Zomba.
BICO has helped in training 6 nurses that have seen been deployed to the eye department.
Well done Zomba Central hospital for your new entry.
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Phalombe children's project update

Over 500 children have been screened for refractive errors in Phalombe district and a substantial number have received free eye glasses.
In addition Nazombe School for the blind in Phalombe benefited from the BICO-Lions initiative through donation of 10 beds, 10 mattresses and 15 mosquito nets to the school. The school has 15 full time visually impaired children who are accommodate at the school.
The Phalombe children project has been funded by the Lions Club of Perugia Italy (sponsor) through Lions Club of Limbe, Malawi (host) and is being implemented by Lions club of Limbe in collaboration with BICO. The Lions Club of Limbe have not only helped in identifying blind and visual impaired children from Phalombe and referring them to Blantyre, but have also donated items to all children admitted at the Lions Eye Hospital in Blantyre
BICO would like to thank the Lions Club of Perugia and Lions Club of Limbe for making this project a great success.
Special thanks should go to the Paediatric ophthalmologists who is also the head of the Lions Eye Unit in Blantyre for agreeing to operate on these children.
The children can now see.
BICO will continue looking for partners that can help blind and visual impaired children in other Malawian districts.
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BICO celebrates the graduation of two Malawian Ophthalmologists

Dr Petros Kayange and Dr Tamara Chirambo are the first Malawian Ophthalmologists doctors to graduate locally from College of Medicine; University of Malawi .They will be awarded a masters of medicine (M.Med) in Ophthalmology in 2011. The two doctors were enrolled in the programme in 2006 and have completed their minimum four year.
During their course they had exposure to research being conducted by Blantyre Institute for Community Ophthalmology, and were supervised by the Research director for BICO for their masters thesis.
BICO is proud to have been involved in capacity building in eye care in Malawi, through training of Ophthalmologists, nurses, ophthalmic clinical officer and Community health workers .
Congratulations to our new graduates.
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Saturday, 13 November 2010

Hot,very hot in Blantyre

Today its one of the hottest days in sitting outside my house in baluti but a very hot breeze is coming.who said doctors should be able to afford air conditioning? They were right because i cant hasnt rained yet

Ophthalmology in Malawi

It is harder to talk about ophthalmology in malawi and omit Dr Chirambo's name.but the fact is that he is gone and has left us with very high expectations.Chirambo groomed the 3 of us into different subspecialisation areas of ophthalmogy;myself now a public health ophthalmologist,my boss a paediatric ophthalmologist and the pastor,now a vitreoretinal surgeon.we have also increased the number of general ophthalmologist to 5.the fact is that Chirambo paved the way for us,and we have to follow his footsteps.i used to wonder why he used to be in the office by 7.00am everymorning,but now i am doing the same thing.its called responsibilty

BIC0 website finaly here

After struggling with ICT for over a year,everything has started unfolding.just two years after Blantyre institute for community ophthalmogy (BIC0)was formed , a website has been launced.are you ready for surprizes?check

Congratulations to BIC0 for commitment
Watch for more action on site.

Hotel Azur (hotel Africa) is the worst hotel in Yaounde Cameroun

If u plan to visit Yaounde in Cameroun,dont make a mistake of staying at Hotel Azur.this is a useless hotel,staff have no moners and your valuables are likely to be stolen and the management will not be responsible.the rooms are messy,there is no hot water and the taps are mostly wise u have a risk of being what happened to me?am still trying to recover.because of this experience i will not be going back to Cameruon.

graduating doctors

I must have forgotten to mention that the two doctors qualified as the first malawian eye specialists trained in malawi.this has increased the number .held of the plans to have a top surgical facility in Zomba?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

missing in action

Have been overwhelmed with work.had bad experience while travelling in cameroun.will have to blog more later