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In line with its mandate “to contribute to Human Resources for Health (HRH) through quality training in ophthalmology; set standards for professional ophthalmic practice; facilitate continuous professional development; and, promote research which advances ophthalmology in the region”, COECSA has continued to engage and work closely with key stakeholders from across the region.


In this regard, the institution has convened a stakeholders consultative meeting on COECSA’s Regional Education and Training agenda, held at Park Inn by Radisson in Kigali, Rwanda.  The meeting brought together training institutions and national regulatory bodies from across the ECSA region and primarily focused on COECSA’s Subspecialty/Fellowship and Residency Training programme. The goal is to foster partnership between COECSA, governments and training institutions in the implementation of collegiate ophthalmology education and training programmes in the region.


Speaking when he officially opened the meeting, COECSA President Dr. John Nkurikiye said he was optimistic that the ECSA region will soon have standardized, quality training in ophthalmology. He further thanked all the participants for taking time to be part of the consultative meeting.


At the same occasion, Medical Council of Tanganyika President Prof. David Ngassapa described the meeting as timely as the council is now better positioned to push the collegial training agenda. “I have learnt a lot and my knowledge has changed from the moment I entered the meeting. With what I have gained I am new, I am a convert; we are now better positioned to push the collegial training agenda with a much stronger push”, he said.


Further, Zambia College of Medicine (ZACOMS) registrar Dr. Jonathan Sitali applauded COECSA for the work in developing systems and curricula for all training programmes. He stated that, “I applaud COECSA for the work you are doing and ensuring all systems are in place. This is indeed the correct root to take, and as Zambia you have our full support. Therefore, we request that you prioritize Zambia in all aspects of the training and we are equally open to welcoming trainees from across the region”.

Moreover, Kenya MPDC’s Dr. Juliet Gathara encouraged COECSA to work towards enticing and convincing institutions, especially Universities to see the value in collegial training and move towards adoption.Furthermore, the Registrar/CEO for Rwanda Medical and Dental Council Dr, VUGUZIGA THADEE pledged full support towards COECSA’s work. “We are strongly supporting all your good initiatives towards safe practice to Africans and the world population”, he said.


Over 20 training institutions from across the region, as well as health regulatory bodies for Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya were represented at the meeting.


COECSA is grateful to all the participants and look forward to the continued cooperation.