1 Nov 2010

Fred Hollows eye clinic to open in Fiji

4:08 pm on 1 November 2010

The Fred Hollows Foundation of New Zealand says it is pleased that a new purpose-built eye clinic is on track to open in Suva, Fiji, this month.

It's estimated there are about 80,000 blind and up to 250,000 people with significant visual loss in the region, with possibly 80 percent of cases avoidable or treatable.

The Foundation's Executive Director, Brent Impey, says this clinic is significant for sustainable development, as it will train more nurses and eye technicians from the region.

And he says the clinic has wards to offer clinical services for patients, with many suffering eye problems as a direct result of diabetes.

"It's been a project which is designed to take the Pacific Eye Institute out of the main Colonial War Memorial [CWM] hospital building, and into a block of land which is owned by CWM, and build a new facility. And that facility which has been built with AusAid and NZAid money, by Fred Hollows Foundation, will offer both research, and also clinical services, and in particular training."

Brent Impey says an official handing-over ceremony for the clinic is planned for the end of November.