Clinical Officer receives training to conduct eye examinations, prescribe and dispense spectacles, to strengthen health systems in Zambia.


Name: Connie

Country: Zambia 

Profession: Clinical Officer/Clinician

Meet Connie, a 27-year-old Clinical Officer working at Chitambo District Hospital, in the central province of Zambia.

Vision Aid Overseas met Connie in 2019 when she took part in a refraction training course, run by our professional volunteers. The course upskills existing health professionals, ophthalmic nurses and optical clinical offices, so they can conduct eye examinations, prescribe and dispense spectacles, and make appropriate referrals for more serious eye conditions.

Did you know Zambia has only 44 qualified optometrists for a population of 17 million people?


Where you work and what you do:

I work at Chitambo District Hospital in central province of Zambia. I work as a Clinical Officer/Clinician at the outpatient department. My main job description is to diagnose, test and refer patients appropriately.


What have you learnt?

I have learnt a lot in terms of optometry, refracting, diagnosing and treating refractive errors, and other eye problems. How to refer appropriately for those patients who need surgical intervention.

 How will you use what you have learnt?

The knowledge I have gained will help me to open a vision centre at our facility, as we do not have an eye clinic within the district of Chitambo. This knowledge will help people in my district who have eye problems.

There are a lot of people in my district with eye problems and with my knowledge I will be of great help to them, in eliminating blindness which can be treated with spectacles and appropriate referrals for the patients who may need surgical intervention.


What do you hope to achieve in the future?

To help people in my community. Before I could only treat other general conditions but could not help much with people with refractive errors, but now I can diagnose and treat refractive errors.

I would love to further my studies as a clinical officer ophthalmologist and the knowledge I have gained will be an added advantage as I will be able to refract and perform surgical procedure, and also prescribe spectacles and other medicines.



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