With a population of 601 million people1 and fewer than 500 ophthalmologists working within its borders,2 Africa as a continent is represented by an ophthalmologist/population ratio of less than 1:1 million. Manpower development and comprehensive public health blindness-prevention activities deserve utmost priority in eye care for Africa if the numbers of needlessly blind persons are to be reduced.3
Zimbabwe, as a young independent African nation (Fig 1), is presently challenged by those dual needs.
This overview of ophthalmology and eye care in Zimbabwe is intended to define the present problem of blindness in that country and outline strategies to develop indigenous ophthalmic talent that eventually will reduce the prevalence of blindness.
PROFILE OF ZIMBABWE AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Zimbabwe, recently independent and the youngest nation on the African continent, is familiar to many people by a former name.The new nation Zimbabwe once was Southern Rhodesia. Cecil Rhodes,
Schwab L. Ophthalmology in Zimbabwe. Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(2):284-287. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070010290041