Sidney Gicheru, M.D., a well-known Dallas Fort Worth Ophthalmologist, recently returned from a mission trip to Kampala, Uganda. He officiated the graduation of the first formal leadership class for Ophthalmologists in Africa. He reports the mission “was extremely successful and we graduated 13 doctors, who should go on to be leaders in Ophthalmology in their countries”.

Dr. Gicheru is the Co-Founder and Program Director of the African Ophthalmology Council Leadership Development Program(LDP), which is a 3-year program. Many countries in Africa have an imbalance of eye disease and infrastructure; too much disease for the level of doctors and medical facilities. The idea behind the Leadership Development Program is to provide better leaders in eye care, who can manage the scarce resources better resulting in better care for patients. Dr. Gicheru says “this is a unique and novel way to tackle the problems faced with healthcare in Africa”. He adds “If an eye surgeon goes to Africa for a week of cataract surgery, he will typically impact the lives of 50-70 patients. With LDP, one Ophthalmologist can impact the lives of millions of patients.”

Dr. Gicheru is a graduate of the American Academy Ophthalmology LDP. Dr. Gicheru reports “In the US, the LDP program is very competitive to get into, but it was a life changing event for me. Within months, I was nominated as President of the Texas Ophthalmological Association. It opened so many doors for me”. Prior to co-founding the program in Africa, Dr. Gicheru volunteered as faculty of the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology LDP. In Asia, he has taught the LDP curriculum in Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, China, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. In Africa, so far, he has taught in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa. He adds “the 13 graduating doctors were from countries from all over Africa including West, East and South Africa”. He reports “I have volunteered my time to do this since 2012 and it’s a great way to give back and impact patients in developing countries”.

When he is not volunteering globally, Sidney Gicheru, M.D. is the President and Chief Refractive Surgeon of LaserCare Eye Center. As a refractive surgeon, he provides LASIK and PRK surgeries. He was the first surgeon in Dallas to provide the new SMILE Vision Correction procedure. He was one of the first surgeons in Dallas to provide Laser Cataract Surgery with ORA Smart Vision technology and the ReSTOR multifocal lens that corrects vision near and far.