Presentations at International Association of Prevention of Blindness

Rebecca Blundell, a University of Dundee International Health BMSc student presented her work on evaluation of the Arclight in Malawi at the International Association of Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) meeting in Durban. She attended the meeting along with her co-supervisor Dr Andrew Blaikie from the  University of St Andrews School of Medicine Global Heath Team.

The Arclight is a low cost solar powered ophthalmoscope and otoscope that offers health care workers the opportunity to diagnose conditions that may lead to blindness and deafness. The device has been developed through a collaboration with a number of organisations including the Fred Hollows Foundation, Arclight Medical, the IAPB and the School of Medicine, St Andrews.

Rebecca was awarded a 1st Class degree for her dissertation ‘A mixed-methods evaluation of a novel solar powered low cost ophthalmoscope (Arclight) by healthcare workers in Malawi using the Technology Acceptance Model’ and went on to win the Sir James MacKenzie Intercalated Bachelor of Medical Science First Prize.

The Arclight is available to purchase via the University of St Andrews online store.


Arclight – a medical revolution

A revolutionary pocket-sized device which could help save the sight of millions of people around the world has been launched by a team led from the University of St Andrews.

arclight-collagesArclight is a low-cost, solar-powered ophthalmoscope aimed at helping health workers in low-income countries detect signs of blindness. It can also be used as an otoscope to look into the ears and help prevent deafness. Designed specifically as an easy-to-use tool for out-reach or screening programs in low-income countries it enables users to make instant on-the-spot diagnostic decisions. A study led from the International Centre for Eye Health in London showed that it performs as well as traditional devices costing up to 100 times as much.

Few hospital-based doctors in poorer countries have these essential instruments and almost none at the mid or community level. Using the Arclight an examiner can see the front and back of the eye helping reveal all major blinding conditions such as trachoma, cataract, glaucoma and diabetes. It is ideal for students or any qualified health care worker in low or high resource health care settings. Continue reading

Technical working group to review mentorship tools

On 3rd December 2016, the Paediatric and Child Health Association (PACHA) held a technical working group to review their mentoring tools. In 2017, PACHA will mentor the ten hospitals where in partnership with the Ministry of Health and UNICEF, they have supported the renovation of neonatal units. During 2016, healthcare workers (250) from these facilities were trained in the Care of Infants and Neonates (COIN) course, in 2017, the focus is on mentorship and monitoring and evaluation. The quality improvement is led by the local teams with PACHA supporting them. This support will include mentorship of staff from these units at the two large neonatal units at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi and Kamuzu Central Hospital, Lilongwe, Malawi.  During these attachments at the central hospitals the staff will complete competency based assessments which will include ten skills which are required to provide quality new-born care.

Technical working group to review COIN material

On 2nd December 2016 the Paediatric and Child Health Association (PACHA) held a technical working group to review their training material for the COIN (Care of the Infant and New-born). This was attended by two neonatologists, one from the two main teaching hospitals, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre and Kamuzu Central Hospital, Lilongwe, Malawi. Senior nursing staff and representatives from the Ministry Of Health were also present. The material was modified in light of recent WHO guidelines.

The 2017 guidelines will be available on PACHAs website from January 2017

The work on the neonatal guidelines is part of a UNICEF supported project, which is being implemented by PACHA.  Dr Bernadette O’Hare is leading the implementation on behalf of PACHA.