The Ophthalmic Technician Training Programme (OTTP) is at the core of how NOOR (National Organization for Ophthalmic Rehabilitation) intends to make a lasting difference to the people of Afghanistan. The country has the second highest level of blindness in the world. Most of this blindness is treatable, curable and preventable. However, for this to happen, people in Afghanistan need to hear the message about how to prevent blindness as well as have access to trained people who can treat their eye conditions.
Who can Reach Them?
Trained eye care people who have a mid level qualification (known here as Ophthalmic Technicians) are ideally placed to treat the majority of eye conditions that people have, refer them to specialists and enable communities to hear the messages about prevention. This is why NOOR is committed to training people to acquire this OT qualification. We have been running OT training since 1996 and trained 77 OTs in our two year course.
Technicians from the Source of the Problem
In September 2015, 25 people from the different provinces across Afghanistan started the current course. To get a good cross section, we deliberately hold the entrance exam in the provinces rather than just in Kabul. There are representatives from 11 provinces, like Balkh, Badakshan, Bamiyan, Herat, Kabul, Baglan, Ghazni, Ghor and Takhar on the course as we believe that recruiting students from the provinces is the best way we have of getting OTs returning to work there.
How we do what we do
At the moment, the course is free to students and there is other support available. For example, there is an additional bursary for female students from the provinces as well as access to hostel accommodation for all students. For the female students, a government dormitory can be used although most families prefer for their daughters to stay with other family members known to them. The students also have lunch provided along with other staff members during the week. Over the 4 semesters of the 2 year course, the input is a mix of theoretical lectures and practical experience working in the hospital and community settings under the supervision of qualified staff. There are regular examinations and it is unlikely that all 25 students will complete the course. For example, in August 2013, 11 students from the previous course graduated.
Can you invest in needy Afghanistan?
Could you support this work in a very practical way? Could you support the financial cost of training OTs? Then just click on one of the donation links below and follow the instructions.
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website https://www.iam-afghanistan.org/what-we-do/eye-care/noor-eye-care
- Phone 07 5564 7476
PO Box 733
Ashmore City - 4214