The data obtained on the numbers of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Allied Ophthalmic Personnel (AOPs) is summarised in Table 1. Figures 4, 5 and 6 below show the number of these three cadres per million population both globally and in the Super Regions.
Confidence in the Ophthalmologist data which was available for 191 out of a possible 197 countries is reasonably good as the vast majority of Ophthalmologists have to be registered to practice. However, not all Ophthalmologists are surgically active and the data does not differentiate this. Optometrist data was available for 128 countries but definitions of who should be counted as an Optometrist are less well accepted across the world and registration less formalised. Collecting data for the AOPs was the most difficult of all with only 95 countries submitting a number and considerable variation noted in definitions due to there being virtually no internationally agreed understanding about who makes up this cadre.
Figures 4, 5 and 6 below should be viewed with the limitations of the data in mind, but the inequitable distribution of the eye health workforce is clearly apparent, with the majority of African countries experiencing critical health workforce shortages.
Figure 4: Number of Ophthalmologists per million population for the 191 countries for which data is available
Updated on 12th Oct 2017