The Centre for Eye Care and Public Health Intervention Initiative (CEPHII) is a forum to stimulate greater collaboration among Africans in health-related research. CEPHII is an affiliate of AVRI and is made up of accomplished researchers. The formation of the group was motivated by the unsatisfactory state of health-related research in Africa. There is a deficiency of quality research from Africa at international conferences and meetings. In addition, most research done in Africa are conducted by non-Africans residing outside the continent. The aim of CEPHII is to help develop research capacity and skills, in health-related disciplines, among young researchers on the continent to address the dearth in quality research. Over time we hope this will translate to better health outcomes for Africans. Currently, CEPHII is involved in various projects including myopia, glaucoma, and diabetes projects as well as standardization of practice, which are listed in the About us section.
• To foster relationships between researchers with similar interests.
• To promote the transfer of knowledge and encourage quality research work in Africa.
• To establish a strong collaborative platform for funding opportunities and strengthen our ability to make an impact in health care.
• To identify and fill gaps in knowledge with students from our institutions, for instance, the group has recently commenced projects focussing on Diabetes and myopia (which are key public health issues). To apply for grants which can be utilized to sponsor student projects.
• To provide opportunities for co-supervision with some renowned African researchers in the health sciences.
• To organise scientific events attracting world leaders and stakeholders in health research to Africa.
The group is affiliated with the Centre of Excellence for Research and Training in Human Resources for Health, Department of Public Health, University of Calabar, and with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. These partnerships will positively influence the rating of these institutions, and together with these institutions on attract potential funders.
The following accomplished researchers are part of our team:
Prof Kovin S Naidoo (PhD, FAAO)
Prof Naidoo is a National Research Foundation B-rated researcher, educator and internationally celebrated public health leader who has has devoted his working life to reducing avoidable blindness and vision impairment, with special emphasis on refractive error. He has been revolutionizing access and delivery to eye care in Africa and for the globally disadvantaged.
Dr Bernadine Ekpenyong(PhD, FAAO)
Dr Ekpenyong is the Head, Department of Public Health at the University of Calabar, Nigeria. She is also the Chief editor, Nigerian Optometry Journal and a researcher with a wealth of experience in conducting and supervising research. Dr Ekpenyong has grounded background and specialization in optometry and public health epidemiology with specialized training in research, bio-statistics and use of statistical software. As a researcher, she won two research grants as principal investigator. She has also successfully supervised Master's degree projects as a senior lecturer and has also collaborated with other researchers to conduct quality research. These efforts are evident on the several scientific presentations and peer-reviewed publications to her credit.
Professor Khathutshelo Percy Mashige (PhD)
Director, South Africa
Professor Mashige is a Full Professor and the current Dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has more than more 20 years teaching and research experience in the field of Optometry. Professor Mashige is the Chief Executive Officer of the African Vision Research Institute; Chairperson of the Education, Training and Registration Committee of the Professional Board for Optometry and Dispensing Opticians; Chairperson of the African Eye Institute; Chairperson of the Global Institute for Entrepreneurship and Ethics, and Chairperson of the Community Self Mastery Coaching Institute. He is a founding member of the African Translational Research Group and the Centre for Eye Care and Public Health Intervention Initiative, which are forums of African researchers across the globe to stimulate greater collaboration in Africa in health-related research. He is an National Research Foundation-rated scientist. He has published many scientific articles and has supervised many Masters and PhD students. Professor Mashige is an Associate Editor of the UK-based Journal, BMC Ophthalmology and serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee of the South African Health Review Journal. His numerous accolades include being a recipient of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Impact Acceleration Award of the UK, South Africa-Netherlands Partnership on Alternatives in Development Award, Developing Research Innovation Leadership and Localisation, and the South African Medical Research Council National Health Award.
Dr Stephen Ocansey (PhD)
Dr Ocansey is Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). He holds a PhD degree in Vision Science and Optometry from the Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), Cambridge, UK. He is currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana and Head of Department of the Physician Assistants Studies Department, UCC. With his broad range of clinical training in optometry and vision science, his research focuses on investigations into understanding visual processing and effective ways of ocular disease and refractive error diagnosis and management. He has published over 30 scientific articles in peer review journals.
Dr Ovenseri has served as a WHO expert on low vision in Africa. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a Senior Lecturer and Research Lead in the Department of Optometry, University of the Highlands and Islands, UK. Since 2004, he has been a university academic, teaching undergraduate students in Ghana, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia and has served as examiner for PhD and Master’s thesis at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya. Dr Ovenseri is the Assistant Editor of the Journal of Nigerian Optometry and an Academic Editor for PLOS ONE. He has over 55 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 672 citations (Google Scholar).
Dr Osuagwu is a Senior Lecturer and Academic Lead in Rural Health with Bathurst Rural Clinical School (BRCS), and member of Translational Health Research Institute (THRI), at the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia. Dr Osuagwu is the convener of CEPHII and a 2022 Scholarship Ambassador with Africademics. He is an affiliate Associate Professor with the School of Optometry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban South Africa and external examiner for Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya. Dr Osuagwu served as a former President of The Optical Society, Queensland University of Technology Student Chapter where he led the chapter to various international recognition and grant award. Dr Osuagwu has more than 15 years of optometry practice experience working in private and public hospitals and assisted in the indigenous eye clinics across Queensland working with ophthalmologists. His academic career started at King Saud University Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where worked very closely with health experts from various disciplines in various projects. Dr Osuagwu reviews grants for the Irish Board and his current fellowship focuses on finding innovative ways for early detection and prevention of diabetes and its related complications. Dr Osuagwu serves as a reviewer for many public health and ophthalmology journals and has over 73 peer reviewed journals articles (H-Index=19, > 1150 citations, according to Google Scholar, October 2022).
Professor Agho is an Associate Professor in Biostatistics at the School of Health Sciences, Western University Sydney, Australia. His research leadership in relation to the role in international health and public health nutrition has contributed to key areas of government policy in numerous countries. Kingsley has also been involved in the design and analysis of large-scale community-based cluster RCTs with the track record of over 250 peer-reviewed journal articles (H-Index=54, > 10208 citations, according to Google Scholar, May 2022).
Dr Ndep is the Coordinator, Centre of Excellence for Research and Training in Human Resources for Health in Public Health at the University of Calabar, Nigeria with a particular interest in qualitative research methods and data analysis. She is a health educator, community organizer, trainer, and researcher and also serves as Director of Academic Planning, Havilla University Nde Ikom, Cross River State, Nigeria. She is a staunch believer in making health information accessible to everyone regardless of their literacy level. To this end, she has developed healthy tales which help people with low literacy to understand complex health information without losing its scientific integrity.
Dr Ekure is a Nigerian born optometrist currently practicing full range Optometry in the USA. His Clinical Practice focus is in Primary Care Optometry with an emphasis in glaucoma, specialty contact, and anterior segment care. He is currently working on obtaining his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biomedicine at Salus University, Pennsylvania.
Professor Ogbuehi is a Professor of Optometry and Vision Sciences, currently serving as a senior lecturer in ophthalmology at the Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand. His primary interests have been in education and research. He has over 50 publications with a H-Index of 16 and, about 772 citations on Google scholar.
Dr Rasengane is an Associate Professor of Optometry, the current head of Optometry at the University of the Free State and a director for Optometric services in the Free State Province, South Africa. She obtained her PhD in Physiological Optics from the University of Houston and has vast experience in designing undergraduate and postgraduate curricula both nationally and internationally. She has supported optometry institutions in Africa through capacity building of faculty while serving as the general secretary of the African Council of Optometry from 2012 to 2014. She has been a SightSavers trustee since 2018 and serves as the member of the Education Committee of the South African Optometric Association. Dr Rasengane is the Editorial board member of Vision Magazine Online, the African Vision and Eye Health journal and Optometry and Visual Performance Journal and between 2019 and 2021, She served as WCO’s Education Committee Chair. Prof Rasengane has won several grants including the prestigious Thuthuka grant, National Research Foundation and has published many scientific literatures in high impact journals.
Dr Kyeremeh completed a Doctor of Optometry degree at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in 2012. In 2019, he was an AVRI student at University of Kwazulu Natal (UKZN) and completed a Master of Optometry. He is currently a PhD student with UKZN working on ‘Health promotion strategy for myopia control in the Ashanti region of Ghana. His work experience includes: Teaching and Research Assistant at KNUST from 2012-2013 Optometrist with St Martin’s Catholic Hospital (2014-2021) He currently lectures at Department of Optometry and Visual Science, KNUST Dr Kyermeh is registered with the following professional bodies: Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC), GhanaMember of the Ghana Optometric Association (GOA) and current Representative for Ashanti zone He is a member of International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) His research interests include Myopia control, Clinical epidemiology, Low vision and Contact lens.