There are 285 million people with visual impairment (VI) worldwide including 39 million who are blind; 15 % of those with VI live in Africa, and around 80 % of VI is preventable or treatable with the right equipment, information and skills. The scarcity of human resources for eye health, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, is a key challenge towards achieving this goal. Therefore training primary health workers (PHW) in providing eye-care services has been seen by some authors as a way to improve access to eye-care services in remote communities. However, the package of interventions which could be effectively delivered for eye-care at the primary-care level or the set of skills and competencies that PHWs need has not yet been delineated. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a four day training programme of PHWs in primary eye-care conducted in Morogoro, Tanzania in 2010/2011.Pre-and immediate post-training assessments indicated improvement in health worker knowledge about eye-care in the short term. Qualitative investigations 2 to 3 years after the training showed that although staff could make the correct management decisions when presented with eye-health problems, they often could not make a correct diagnosis. Theoretical teaching was appreciated by most participants but almost all suggested increasing the time spent on acquiring skills.