Ophthalmology in Madagascar

Katherine Atley

A & E trainee



Antananarivo, Madagascar.

What were your aims?

The project had two aims. One was to investigate how much funding the department needed and how the funding would help, such as to buy new equipment. Our second aim was to share our experiences in team working and communications skills to help improve this in the department.

What attracted you to this area?

We wanted to gain experience in rural healthcare, and travel Madagascar.

What did you do?

  • Observed cataract surgeries
  • Visited ward patients
  • Observed eye casualty
  • Delivered an interactive lecture on communication skills and team working to department

What were the challenges?

The language barrier was a big challenge.

Travelling around Madagascar is challenging as the roads are in poor condition, so make sure you allow plenty of time. The internal flights are pricey so budget this in before you go. 

Would you recommend it to others?

It was a fantastic opportunity to observe a completely different healthcare system whilst travelling somewhere completely new. We want to go back in Whale season (July – September) to see the Humpback Whales migrating.  would definitely like to go back, Madagascar is such a huge and varied country 

What to take?

Don’t forget insect repellent!

How did you organise it?

Through links with the Ophthalmology department at Leeds Hospital.




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