STOP Glaucoma

STOP Glaucoma: Preventing and Treating Avoidable Blindness from Glaucoma in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Global Health initiative developed out of the tele-ophthalmology program which as designed to provide better health care services to patients living in underserved regions.

The Department was involved in setting up tele-ophthalmology programs in India (2005), Cameroon (2006), and Congo (2008), and tele-glaucoma programs in Kenya (2009), and Ethiopia (2010).
Dr. Karim Damji used his Grand Challenges Canada grant (2012-2014) and McCalla Professorship (2012-2013) to develop methodologies to prevent and treat glaucoma in Sub-Saharan Africa. This included the development learning modules and training programs for the tele-glaucoma programs in Kenya and Ethiopia as well as pilot programs to allow nurse practitioners to access tele-glaucoma from within a primary care setting.

STOP Glaucoma in Sub Saharan Africa: enhancing awareness, detection, management and capacity for glaucoma care

Innovative Teleglaucoma Programs Open the Door to Establishing Remote Glaucoma Screening in Developing Countries

Dr. Damji also developed the ‘sandwich’ fellowship program which was designed to build capacity in Kenya and Ethiopia by providing ophthalmologists with specialized training at the University of Alberta (where they trained with faculty members Drs. Marianne Edwards, Michael Dorey and Ordan Lehmann), mentorship training by Dr. Damji in their home country, and additional training in childhood glaucoma in India.

In 2008, the Department began training International Fellows who then returned home to share their knowledge. These Fellows have included:

  • Dr. Tejeswara Vara Prasad Dhupam, India, Clinical Fellowship in Medical & Surgical Retina (2008-2009);
  • Dr. Rajat Maheshwari, India, Fellowship in Oculoplastic, Orbit & Ocular Oncology (2009-2010);
  • Dr. Sheila Marco, Kenya, ‘Sandwich’ Fellowship in Glaucoma (2010-2011);
  • Dr. Emmanuel Tambe, Cameroon, Clinical Fellowship in Medical & Surgical Retina & Vitreous (2010);
  • Dr. Qi Zhou, China, Clinical & Research Fellowship in Ocular Genetics (2010-2011);
  • Dr. Fisseha Ayele, Ethiopia, ‘Sandwich’ Fellowship in Glaucoma, (2011-2013);
  • Dr. Girum Gessesse, Ethiopia, ‘Sandwich’ Fellowship in Glaucoma. (2012-2013)