As part of our work to strengthen local health systems Vision Aid Overseas has traditionally been involved in a wide range of training and educational activities.

Our recent review focused on our formal training activities, delivered by professional volunteers through partner universities and colleges, to train Optometrists and Optical Technicians.

In order to be able to attract funding and to create a streamlined delivery, it was critical that our training activity is underpinned by an appropriate pedagogy and syllabus that deliver on international agreed competencies. 

The review took into account the common needs of our country partners and will ensure what is delivered across each country is similar. This will give us a common practice and underpinning to draw from and help when applying to funders and working with existing and new partners.

All our new materials are based on the Brien Holden Vision Institute content and meet the learning outcomes set by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. Templates have been created to make it easier for volunteer facilitators to deliver, and for country partner to select, in advance, the topics their students need. Responding to need, our materials consist of practical based modules and case study discussions.


We have recently been working with the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana to trial the new training materials for university students, and we would like to thank the university for working with us on this project.


Vision Aid Overseas would like to offer a special thank you to our volunteer review team: Karen Sparrow, Rupal Lovell-Patel and Ebi Osuobeni; who were supported by Catherine Porter, Lee Davis and Alex Webster to develop the materials; and to Ebi and Chris Davey for delivering the trial at UCC and tweaking the materials as a result of the trial.


Our new three part refraction course has started and will take place from September to December in Kabwe, Zambia. The course is for ophthalmic nurses and optical clinical offices, who will be upskilled in refraction to perform an eye test, prescribe and dispense glasses. We are really pleased to be delivering our new course materials and would like to thank: Dian Rahardjo for helping to develop them, team leaders Kristina Chapman and Caroline Clarke, and their team members who will be delivering the new materials for the first time.