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Growing number of eye specialists in the Pacific

28 July 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

Photo/ Fred Hollows Foundation - hollows.org.nz

More Pacific doctors and nurses are now training and specialising in eye care, with the help of donations from people in Aotearoa.

The Fred Hollows Foundation funds the Pacific Eye Institute and helps to restore sight throughout Pacific Island nations. 

Four out of five blind people in the Pacific, don't have to be, according to the foundation. 

Pacific Eye Institute Director, Dr. Biu Sikivou, says the initiative has allowed local nurses and doctors to help their own communities. 

"We've trained more than 100 nurses and doctors," she says. "We have qualified doctors in Samoa, Kiribati, Fiji and we have one in training for Tonga and Vanuatu, which will be the first one for those two countries."

The Fred Hollows Foundation hosted a panel of leading Pacific eye specialists in Auckland this week, in the lead up to the foundation's 25th anniversary.

The organisation was set up in 1992, by Kiwi philanthropist Fred Hollows, to help people with sight impairment in developing countries.

Pacific Eye Institute Director, Dr. Biu Sikivou. Photo/ Fred Hollows Foundation - hollows.org.nz

Tags: Fred Hollows Foundation, Pacific Eye Institute, Dr. Biu Sikivou,