Afghanistan, Sierra Leone

Required languages

Type of contract
Voluntary and unpaid - 25 days/1 month (minimum)

Necessary requirements
Specialisation in Ophtalmology; flexibility.

Are you interested?
We're not currently short listing new candidates for this specific role: no vacancies are available at the moment. Visit our website regularly for updates.

This role requires the ability to diagnose and treat the most common eye diseases, including surgical treatments.


Ophthalmologists are required, occasionally and for brief periods, by the eye programme set up by EMERGENCY in 2005. Clinical activity and the care setting have been developed over the years thanks to the international (Italian) teams of specialists who work within the hospitals built and managed by EMERGENCY. The international ophthalmologist is responsible to the Medical Coordinator, who is in charge of the management and organisation of the project.

The main areas of work are:

  • OUTPATIENTS DEPARTMENT: equipped with all the necessary instruments;
  • WARDS.

The specialist usually works alongside a colleague who is already an expert on the progamme and will be asked to participate directly in clinical activity both in outpatients and in surgery, as well as contributing to and updating the training of the local staff.
The surgical team is made up of specialised operating theatre staff – anaesthetists, anaesthetic technicians, scrub nurses – both local and international.
According to clinical and organisational needs, he/she may be asked to move between the various Countries in which the programme operates.


All EMERGENCY international personnel are expected to know and follow the hospital admissions criteria, guidelines, protocols, and the diagnosis and treatment standards in use in the Centre, and to ensure the correct compilation of clinical records and statistics in both computer and paper formats.

The main duties and responsibilities of the international ophthalmologist are:

  • monitoring, supervision and management of clinical activity involving the diagnosis and correction of visual defects;
  • management of surgical procedures (e.g. cataracts, strabismus, eyelid defects… excluding retinal problems);
  • clinical management of the post-operative care of surgical patients;
  • assisting in clinical research and record keeping as required by the scientific programmes of the specialist sector of the Medical Division of EMERGENCY.

Clinical activity and decisions regarding patient care must be discussed and agreed with the Medical Coordinator of the project.


Clinical activities and patient care are always carried out alongside and in collaboration with local personnel, who thus benefit from training in the field. There is also provision for more specific teaching activities, managed by the international specialists, in accordance with the clinical protocols in use and as agreed with the Medical Coordinator.


The technological level of the equipment present in the Centres is suited to the clinical and managerial protocols in use, and the level of professional autonomy of the national staff, with the aim of achieving – and sustaining – high standards of care. Diagnostic equipment, basic laboratory tests, technical and auxiliary services are always available.


Opened in 1999 as a centre for the treatment of war injuries, in 2003 the admissions criteria were extended to include Emergency Medicine and Maternity.
From a strictly surgical point of view, the treatment of war injuries occurs less frequently than in the past (the most complex cases are transferred to Kabul). The Emergency and Elective surgical interventions most frequently carried out are for urological (kidney stones) and gastrointestinal (cholecystitis) disturbances, and hernias.
In 2009 the eye programme in Afghanistan was broadened to include cataract surgery. This was necessitated by the lack of qualified, free care available in the region, as well as climatic and living conditions which lead to an early onset and deterioration of certain defects primarily affecting the anterior segment of the eye.
Each operating theatre is equipped with specific single-patient sets for the various procedures, and instrumentation varies according to the project.


Every day over 130 patients are treated at the Surgical and Paediatric Centre in Goderich. Over time the admissions criteria have been broadened in response to the needs of the population. In 2012 an 8-bed Intensive Care Unit, guest quarters for relatives accompanying patients living far away from the Centre, and two new operating theatres were opened.
In 2013 EMERGENCY decided to extend the eye screening and treatment programme to Sierra Leone, in particular for paediatric patients in the outpatients department of the centre.


Further information on the guidelines, protocols and clinical services relevant to the post along with details of the instruments and equipment available will be provided at interview and during the period of preparation for the mission.

The general requirements and conditions (with the exception of pay) apply to alle the international staff.


  • Medical Degree (or Orthoptics Degree), and current professional registration on the medical register of your Country of residence;
  • specialisation in Ophthalmology;
  • clinical experience in hospital and outpatients settings would be an advantage;
  • willing to move between different countries (Afghanistan and/or Sierra Leone) during the same mission.


25 days/1 month (minimum) overseas stay.


We're not currently short listing new candidates for this specific role: no vacancies are available at the moment. Visit our website regularly for updates.

For inquiries or clarifications (not for applications): fo.recruiting@emergency.it.

Disclosure pursuant to EU Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR)

Personal data is processed, in paper form and electronically, for staff recruiting purposes, as more detailed on the “Privacy Policy” page of this site (https://en.emergency.it/privacy-policy/). The Data Controller is EMERGENCY - Life Support for Civilian War Victims ONG ONLUS, Via Santa Croce, 19, Milan, acting through its President and legal representative pro tempore. The Data Processor is Alessandro Bertani, who can be contacted by post at the address indicated above or at privacy@emergency.it, in order to exercise the rights referred to in Art. 15 of the GDPR. The Data Protection Officer is Concetto Signorino, who can be contacted at the e-mail address dpo@emergency.it or by post at the address indicated above.