By Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD; DeanVannasdale, OD, PhD; and Andrew Emch, OD, MS
College of Optometry
Dr. Andrew and Dr. Dean spent their second full day at the Department of Optometry, University of Gondar. At the Gondar faculty’s request, they taught a crash course on keratoconus, irregular corneas, and specialty contact lens fitting. The faculty was clearly eager to learn and are well-educated. They asked complex questions, almost stumping Ohio State’s favorite sons with evidence-based questions that required detailed knowledge of disease epidemiology.
After a jet-lag antidote lunch that included Coke and strong coffee, they went back to tour the Department’s clinic. The facility is adequately sized to educate the enrolled students.
Unfortunately, frequent, rolling power outages regularly limit patient care, on average two days a week. Equipment is a limitation as well. The clinical equipment, shared between Optometry and Ophthalmology, is a rate-limiting step for both education and eye care delivery.
In spite of these challenges, the young faculty (average age 27 years old), all products of the initial years of the program, are dedicated to building educational capacity, departmental independence, and high standards for the provision of comprehensive eye examinations.