Sightsavers Reports

Evaluation of the Ophthalmic Community Health Officer (OCHO) training programme in Sierra Leone

Status: In progress

Main Objectives

  • Map the distribution of Ophthalmic Community Health Officer (OCHO) in Sierra Leone;
  • Describe how Ophthalmic Community Health Officer (OCHO) currently operate within the eye health system in Sierra Leone;
  • Describe the roles and job competencies of the various cadres providing ophthalmic care Ophthalmic Community Health Officer (OCHO), Ophthalmic nurses, ophthalmic specialists and Community Health Workers) in Sierra Leone to understand how they are operating in practice, and how they are perceived and perceive each other to operate;
  • Ascertain whether the deployment and activities of the Ophthalmic Community Health Officer (OCHO) is in line with the objectives set out for the cadre within the framework of competencies and roles for human resources for eye health in Sierra Leone and to identify areas where there may be divergence from those plans;
  • Describe the interactions of Ophthalmic Community Health Officer (OCHO) with the local community with regards to eye diseases and community prevention.


Sierra Leone, like many other African countries, has a high number of blind people. The Eye Health system in Sierra Leone is very weak and not fully integrated in general health system. Blindness remains a public health concern and a driver of poverty. In Sierra Leone, there are insufficient trained staff to provide eye care to the scattered populations. To compensate the shortages in eye health personnel, a task shifting or sharing approach was used by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and his partners (Sightsavers) through the integration of Primary Eye Care into Primary Health Care where qualified Community Health Officers where already practicing. This study seek to evaluate the impact of an 18 month training course in ophthalmology of Community Health Officers (CHOs) on the improvement of eye health indicators in Sierra Leone

Main Contact

Emma Jolley
Global Technical Lead, Health & Disability Research
[email protected]


Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation



18 months

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