Characterizing transnational ophthalmic surgical partnerships by engagement and training
This article was originally published here
Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2021 Mar 10. doi: 10.1111/ceo.13920. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: To characterize ophthalmic partnerships between high-income country (HIC) and low- and middle-income country (LMIC) stakeholders to better understand and address international disparities in ophthalmic surgical care.
METHODS: An international Web search was conducted to identify surgeons, foundations, or organizations participating in ophthalmic delivery and/or capacity building from 2010-2019. Partnerships were defined through clinical activities, education and training, and/or research support. Descriptive data on current ophthalmic partnerships were collected from published reports, literature reviews, and information on stakeholder webpages. Partnerships were classified by the extent of engagement and training: grade I ‘engagement’ represented documented partnerships of at least 1 years and grade I ‘training’ limited or poorly defined skills transfer programs, while grade III ‘engagement’ represented partnerships with well-documented fiscal investment and/or research productivity and grade III “training” established training programs. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and geospatially depicted on Tableau (Mountain View, CA) and ArcMap software (Redlands, CA).
RESULTS: In total, 209 unique HIC – LMIC partnerships encompassing 92 unique countries were described. The most common HIC partners were from North America (123; 59%), followed by Europe (75; 36%). The most common LMIC partners were from Africa (103; 49%), followed by Asia-Pacific (54; 26%) and Latin America (44; 21%). Additionally, partnerships most frequently provided services in cataract (48%), glaucoma (25%), and diabetic retinopathy (25%). The most common ‘Engagement’ classifications were grade I (35%) or II (39%); the most common “Training” classifications were grade I (61%) or II (23%).
CONCLUSIONS: Transnational ophthalmic partnerships exist with varying degrees of both engagement and training. Research collaboration and direct services are two current areas of partnership strength, while LMIC-directed training programs need improvement relative to other surgical fields. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.