In conversation “The Community Eye Health Journal”


>>SOPHIA PATHAI: Hello and welcome to the Community Eye Health Journal webcast Today I’m joined by Elmien Wolvaardt Ellison, Editor of Community Eye Health Journal…
>>ELLISON Hello>>PATHAI … and Dr Fatima Kyari, Clinical ophtalmologist and Research fellow..
>>KYARI Hello>>PATHAI: Thank you very much for joining me Firstly Elmien if I can start with you Community Eye Health Journal is published in English.. … and in French as well. Just tell us.. who is the Journal intended for?
>>ELLISON: Well it’s for all eye care workers really… .. from absolutely at the primary
level, people dealing with everyday eye conditions… through secondary, doctors, ophthalmologists, to teaching hospitals. We know from our readership survey that the journal is used to teach others a lot and also .. its used at primary level to just refresh people’s training so that they feel confident that
what they’re doing is the right thing Somebody actually wrote to us that “You remind me that I’m doing the right and acceptable thing.”>>PATHAI. Right And Fatima you’re based in Nigeria? Correct?>>KYARI Yes I am>>PATHAI And how do you find uh … Do you see the journal being read by many of colleagues? Or how does it influence their practice?>>KYARI Well yes it’s being read a lot by my colleagues and the other people I work with, the nurses and other eye health workers sometimes my copies get lost [Laughter] because they borrow them and then um… They say ok I’ll return it to you tomorrow and I say no you can have it because I can always have another one [>>PATHAI Very good] or because there’s an online version of it which I can get onto – this is now – but then, before they started the online version, um we could, and that was during my training days, we could um, subscribe and then get it for free, and it does get to us, so [>>PATHAI Great] I, we just tried to get as many people as possible on the database … yes. [>>ELLISON Absolutely.] It’s, it’s really quite useful um… if I can draw from my experience?>>ELLISON Yes! [Laughter]>>KYARI When I was training maybe second
year residency, first year second year residency um, there was this issue that had trachoma trichiasis surgery in it and um… I actually used it as my surgical tutor [>>PATHAI Right] you know, I read it the night before I had the TT surgery to do .. the bilamellar tarsal rotation and I used it for my surgery and it was very successful and that was I how I [>>PATHAI Great] started you know sharing my experiences with others using the journal as a trainer not just for information but also for training.>>ELMIEN Yes.>>PATHAI So you’re a clinical ophthalmologist but Elmien, I mean, what does the journal contain? Is it only for ophthalmologists? Or>>ELMIEN No.>>PATHAI Can anyone does anyone who reads it get instruction from it?>>ELMIEN Yeah absolutely. We’ve … I’ve been looking at who reads it at the primary health care level and in that group a quarter of the readers are nurses, doctors and community health workers who want to learn more about eye care and
who feel the need, they see in their community there’s a lot of people with eye problems and they want to refresh their knowledge and, and learn a bit more because very often eye care is not included in their normal training so they’re really keen to learn as much as possible and that’s been growing so .. and what we’ve also learned from our readership survey is that eye care workers at this level use it to teach the patients
about what’s going on with their eyes because there’s lots of images and pictures and
diagrams so they can see what’s going on and they use it to educate the patients’
families because they might extra care and it’s also gone to teachers and because school eye screening is
a big issue, there’s a lot of uncorrected refractive error and the more, the more
widely people know about these very basic and and helpful eye care issues the quicker they can take action and the more easily we can prevent blindness.>>PATHAI Fatima you mentioned your
colleagues … sometimes maybe steal the journal from you. [Laughter] what about medical students as well do they sort of gain information from that as well because Ophthalmology’s a tough subject to learn>>KYARI. Well I can’t really say much about that because my interaction with medical students is very minimal .. but with .. trainees, post-graduate trainees, yes they get it, they like the journal, and … most of them actually subscribe to it to so they get it, yeah.>>PATHAI. And in terms of receiving the journal I mean, Elmien, we live in a digital world now. [>>ELMIEN Yes] .. I’m looking at my iPad right now but just tell me is there a need to have a print version because, I mean, you can download iPad apps or read things on the internet as Fatima alluded too, so why do we still have the print version?>>ELLISON Well if you’re in the UK you don’t need a print version and we’d be much happier if you downloaded it rather than asking for a paper copy but in Africa particularly, which is which is really where the biggest need is for eye care information, internet access is completely terrible in many countries. In capital cities you know [POINTS TO KYARI] you you have decent access but even there it can be intermittent it can be very
expensive as well and to download something i think the journal is about ten megabytes you know if you want to download it, and it’s really slow and people have to wait a long time, and so we know that the evidence is that it’s really
difficult but we were very encouraged to see that ninety eight percent
of our journal readers have mobile phones and about, I think, twenty percent might have .. we’re not one hundred percent sure, but I think twenty percent have phones with internet capability so we’re starting to move our content in a more digital friendly format so that those who do you have access can have it so
that we can serve the entire range of eye care workers working in different settings>>PATHAI. So people so people who do have internet access which website should they be logging onto?
which website shaping up into and it’s>>ELLISON .. it’s www.cehjournal.org>>PATHAI. Fantastic! Thank you both very much for joining me
and we look forward to another ICEH [International Centre for Eye Health] and Community Eye Health Journal webcast.>>ELLISON. Thank you very much. Thank you.

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