Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness launches new programme for trainers 
August 9, 2023

Image: © Rolex / Joan Bardeletti. The Peek visual acuity test, part of the RAAB7 software

Efforts to improve eye health globally requires an evidence base on the prevalence and type of vision impairment in a particular area. This data is essential in planning services accurately and efficiently, to ensure that those who need care receive timely, appropriate and cost-effective treatment and support.  

The Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) is the most widely used eye health survey method globally and RAAB data is the largest contributor to estimates of the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment worldwide. RAAB data contributes to GBD figures on vision impairment and has helped make the case for national and international policy change in eye health.  

 As part of the roll out of RAAB7 (the latest survey methodology and software), the team at the International Centre for Eye Health are launching a new ‘Training of Trainers’ Programme to develop the next cohort of qualified trainers.  

Trainers are instrumental in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of survey data. They provide high-quality support to those undertaking surveys globally, assisting in survey planning, data collection, analysis and use of results.   

The organisers aim to identify 8 – 10 applicants who are passionate about global eye health and RAAB’s role within it to complete this first intake, taking place in October 2023. The deadline for applications is 28th August 2023. 

By the end of the programme, trainees should be able to:  

  • Articulate the rationale for RAAB, its history, methodology and role in the global epidemiology of vision impairment 
  • Explain the RAAB sampling strategy and examination protocol 
  • Recognise the minimum requirements for completing a high quality RAAB survey, and apply gained skills to appropriately support RAAB survey planning 
  • Demonstrate strong technical knowledge of RAAB survey implementation and interpretation of results
  • Engage confidently with RAAB software, demonstrating setting up a training week and managing survey data collection on the Peek RAAB7 platform 

As well as providing professional development and contributing to improving global eye health, being a RAAB trainer is a fulfilling experience: 

With every survey, the RAAB trainer assists to build a stronger and more up to date picture of the avoidable blindness landscape — like a jigsaw puzzle. Personally, being a RAAB trainer has facilitated a deeper understanding of the structure and function of eye services for me, and it is so gratifying to be able to effect real change through supporting partners to complete surveys. Getting to know the survey team members has been wonderful, and the support from the RAAB team is also excellent! 

For further information on how to apply, detailed course content and trainer testimonials, please visit www.raab.world/raab-trainers