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RIIO successfully hosts Medical Retina Skills Course

From the 19 – 23 December 2016, RIIO in association with the College of Ophthalmologists of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (COECSA) and funded by ORBIS run a Medical Retina Skills Course at the RIIO school of Ophthalmology.

This course was facilitated by Prof. Ciku Mathenge alongside the outstanding Prof. Rosalind Stevens, Professor of Surgery (Ophthalmology) at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, USA. Prof. Stevens doubles at the Senior Medical Advisor for ORBIS International and is a vitreoretinal specialist.

Through a rigorous process, COECSA was able to choose 4 senior ophthalmologists from different countries to attend this course. The selected doctors were;

  1. Dr Moses Kasadhakawo (Uganda)
  1. Prof Dan Kiage (Kenya)
  1. Dr Peter Kayange (Zambia)
  1. Dr Elisante Muna (Tanzania)


All participants run ophthalmology departments or eye hospitals and therefore were best placed to immediately impact the quality of care in the region with these skills.

The time was spent in interactive discussion sessions with the facilitators, in the wetlab practicing their skills and an outreach was done where they were able to test the vision and retina of close to 30 patients.

This outreach was done in collaboration with the Rwanda Diabetics Association who organized the patients to take advantage of the availability of specialist doctors. While most patients were treated, given advice and released immediately, a number of them had to be brought to the hospital for further tests and treatment. This gave the participants even more time to deal with complicated cases.

In addition to the training, the entire team was also able to share meals together and had a special fun-filled dinner that was characterized by lots of jokes, laughter and off-the-cuff remarks that had everyone relaxed and able to slow down.

Based on the feedback of the participants, this course was extremely useful and relevant to their work. We hope to have more of the same training to allow even more Doctors to learn and practice these skills.