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, 64 (10), 726-9

Optometric Education and Optometry in Africa

  • PMID: 8245395

Optometric Education and Optometry in Africa

D K Penisten. J Am Optom Assoc.


Background: For the vast majority of people in Africa, eye care services are not available. Optometrists have long been practicing in parts of Africa, but optometric teaching institutes have only recently appeared in several African nations.

Methods: Utilizing interviews, site visits, and a literature review this article presents a survey of the current status of optometric education, the profession of optometry, and eye care needs in Africa.

Results and conclusions: Four countries in Africa have optometric teaching institutes: South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Ghana. Most of these programs are struggling in difficult economic and/or political environments. The difficulties facing these programs are likely to remain, but the recent dramatic developments in communication and cooperation between these four countries will be a positive force towards seriously addressing the need for more optometric practitioners throughout the African continent.

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