RAAB Trainer testimonials

Dr Islay Mactaggart, Associate Professor in Disability and Global Eye Health, International Centre For Eye Health. RAAB Development Lead and Trainer

We have worked hard over the last few years to develop, build and test the RAAB7 methodology and are delighted to be ready to launch our first formal RAAB7 Training Programme. We aim to identify and train a cohort of dedicated new trainers, passionate about improving population eye health and enthusiastic about generating high quality data to support this.

Trainers have always been integral to the RAAB methodology, ensuring standardised, robust data collection across surveys. All new trainers will receive comprehensive support from the RAAB team throughout their training and when assisting surveys.

We are looking forward to welcoming this new cohort into RAAB and working together in the future.



Dr Deon Minnies, Director of the Community Eye Health Institute, University of Cape Town. RAAB Trainer.

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).  

Being a trainer has given me great insight into the programmatic context of eye services in the survey area.  This has greatly enhanced my understanding of how eye services are structured and function, as well as the challenges and innovations the eye health workers have at their disposal. 

So personally, being a trainer has been a great learning for myself, and has been gratifying for me being able to apply my learnings through facilitation and advisory support to effect real change.  Secondly, getting to know the survey team members, their individual strengths and competencies, and seeing how they grow from individuals to small teams, and then to bigger teams during the RAAB planning, training, data collection and reporting stages has been wonderful. There is so much joviality and goodwill amongst us all, it’s just magnificent!  

The support I receive from the RAAB team is excellent!  Because the RAAB trainings usually have breaks of around 3 months between them, I usually forget a few things about the RAAB software and I usually panic at first.  But Ian and the Peek team are very kind and helpful with regards to “standby” support. 

Being a RAAB Trainer has certainly helped to strengthen my network of stakeholders in the eye health arena. This bigger network has enabled me to include more eye health workers in our programme development activities and services.


Dr Nahed Mikki, Senior Research Consultant at Saint John Eye Hospital Group, Palestine. Conducted a RAAB in 2018, trained by Islay Mactaggart.

Our trainer was very instrumental in the RAAB survey. Without her, we couldn't have conducted our survey which is a very important in Palestine. As a trainer she planned and started the project, trained the teams on conducting the survey, supported us during the fieldwork and provided us with the results.

The results provided the hospital with important accurate representative data of the main prevailing causes of poor vision. This data was used and will be used by the hospital in planning services. Data on different types of disabilities was also generated.

Islay calculated the sample size, selected the sample and trained the different teams in the West Bank on the theoretical and practical parts of the project. She also checked the accuracy of the eye examination results. She selected the pilot school in the West Bank, joined the teams and discussed the results of the pilot study with them.

As she could not enter Gaza, she trained the Gaza team on the theoretical part of the RAAB survey over Zoom. One of the West Bank teams and the principal investigator in Palestine trained the Gaza team under Islay's supervision. She also made herself available during the training and checked the accuracy of the eye examination results.

Working with Islay was an excellent learning experience. She was very knowledgeable about the RAAB survey, an excellent trainer and delivered the training sessions very smoothly. The teams were happy with the training and the way she led the project and she was very cooperative and ready to answer any questions.




Islay Mactaggart
Head and shoulders of man smiling at camera

Dr Deon Minnies

Head and shoulders of women smiling at camera

Dr Nahed Mikki