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Developing a competency-based curriculum for eye care managers in Sub-Saharan Africa

Submitted: 25 July 2009
Revised: 16 February 2010
Published: 17 May 2010

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Author(s) : du Toit R, Cook C, Minnies D, Brian G.

Renee du ToitColin CookDeon MinniesGarry Brian

Citation: du Toit R, Cook C, Minnies D, Brian G.  Developing a competency-based curriculum for eye care managers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2010; 10: 1278. Available: (Accessed 17 October 2017)


Introduction: There are insufficient healthcare providers to supply eye care services to the millions of people living with visual impairment in developing countries. Eye care providers may supply more efficient and effective services if supported by skilled managers. To help produce skilled managers, appropriate competencies for eye care managers in Sub-Saharan Africa were included in the curriculum for the Postgraduate Diploma in Community Eye Health course (PGDCEH) at the University of Cape Town.
Methods: The competencies were developed from information from course-development consultations with Sub-Saharan ophthalmologists, and heads and managers of eye care programs; minutes of curriculum planning meetings; and the competencies and skills required by general, eye and public health managers. The competencies were mapped onto the PGDCEH curriculum.
Results: The core expectations for eye care managers were in keeping with accepted generic management competencies and skills. Additional competencies (eg population/public health) were commensurate with those for medical and population-based clinical management, medical education and public health. Broader aspects of eye care (eg patient-centered care) were also incorporated.
Conclusions: Competencies for eye care managers in Sub-Saharan Africa were developed using participatory and multidisciplinary approaches to enhance context-appropriateness. Identifying these ensures that the PGDCEH learning content reflects the actual skills required, provides clarity about learning outcomes, and forms the basis for student assessment. Further, job descriptions and workplace performance evaluation of graduates can be based on these. Ongoing evaluation of the PGDCEH implementation and outcomes will provide feedback to make improvements to the course.

Key words: curriculum development, eye care, manager, ophthalmology, postgraduate study, public health, Sub-Saharan Africa.

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