Mobile Clinic an eye-opener for Fiji

Staff Reporter

New Zealanders had a glimpse of a mobile eye clinic in Auckland last week.

Destined for Fiji, the state-of-the-art clinic was on display at the Auckland Wynyard Quarter on February 13 and 14, 2015.

Designed and built by the Hamilton based ‘Action Motor Bodies,’ a specialist in transport engineering, the estimated cost of the 11.5 metre Clinic is $750,000.

Owned by the Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF) of New Zealand, it will be used in remote parts of Fiji, providing sight-restoring services to the ‘needlessly blind people.’

‘Mainfreight,’ a leading forwarding company transported the Clinic throughout New Zealand, while ‘Matson South Pacific,’ a shipping company, will ship it to Fiji next month. Both companies have reportedly provided free services.

Unique opportunity

FHF Executive Director Andrew Bell said that the ‘Open Day’ held at the Karanga Plaza in Auckland Wynyard was a unique opportunity for visitors to learn about delivery of eye care in the Pacific.

“This is an incredible facility with the potential to transform thousands of people’s lives with the gift of sight. Generous Kiwis made this Clinic possible. It will visit rural areas in Fiji and serve communities that would not otherwise have access to eye care,” he said.

The Services

The mobile eye clinic will provide a full primary eye health examination service, and allow for many more cataract surgeries and diabetic retinopathy laser treatments to be performed each year. The services will also include free eye checks, spectacles, cataract surgery, diabetic retinopathy laser treatment and a range of other eye conditions.

“By breaking down accessibility barriers, we hope to help clear the backlog of avoidable blindness in Fiji and tackle the issue of diabetes-related eye disease which we already know is rising dramatically right across the Pacific region,” Mr Bell said.

About the Fred Hollows Foundation

The Foundation carries on the work of a legendary New Zealander, the late Professor Fred Hollows.

He was an internationally acclaimed eye surgeon and social justice activist who championed the right of all people to high quality and affordable eye care.

FHF shares Fred’s vision of a world where no one is needlessly blind, and works to end avoidable blindness in 30 developing countries across Asia, Africa and the Pacific. In the last five years, the Foundation performed nearly one million sight-restoring operations and treatments, and trained more than 38,000 local eye health specialists.

Regions covered

“The Foundation works in the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, where four out of five people who are blind, need not to be so; their condition is preventable or treatable. We restore sight to the needlessly blind and train local eye health specialists to provide eye care services in their own communities, Andrew Bell, Executive Director said.

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