Expanding and Optimizing Human Resources for Eye Care

  • Suzanne S. GilbertEmail author
  • Paul Courtright
  • Dhivya RamasamyEmail author
Part of the Essentials in Ophthalmology book series (ESSENTIALS)


Innovative approaches in the delivery of eye care require a resilient eye health workforce. The challenges facing the global healthcare workforce overall are found within the field of eye care. These include most notably the challenges of accurate planning and having processes to attract, train, retain, and provide career opportunities for eye health professionals. Success in the provision of quality, sustainable, community-oriented services requires a well-prepared eye care team. The need for increased services and the insufficient numbers of eye care professionals to provide them are well documented and can be daunting. These needs and the HR gap are cited as strategies including setting targets, defining roles, task shifting, team building, and ensuring contributions of mid-level personnel and managers. The diversity of the workforce including the importance of including women is noted. Importantly, these efforts are being undertaken on a global, regional, and national basis with an increasing level of inter-coordination. Addressed are the benefits of enhancing the effectiveness of current human resources in eye health (HReH), the growing array of training strategies and resources, and priorities for moving forward.


Training Human resource Develop 


Compliance with Ethical Requirements

Suzanne S. Gilbert, Paul Courtright, and Dhivya Ramasamy declare they have no conflict of interest.

No human or animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


The authors gratefully recognize the contributions of Dr. Van Lansingh (Mexico), Dr. Mansur Rabiu (Saudi Arabia), Dr. Ken Bassett (Canada), and Dr. Babar Qureshi (UK). We are especially thankful for the literature review support provided by Ms. Sarah Miers, Ms. Heidi Chase, and Ms. Maggie Vizcarra (all of Seva Foundation).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seva FoundationInnovation & Sight ProgramBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, Division of OphthalmologyUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.LAICO-Aravind Eye Care SystemMaduraiIndia

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