9 Jun 2014

NZ to fund eye clinic in Honiara

6:12 pm on 9 June 2014

New Zealand is to pay 3.2 million US dollars to build a new regional eye care centre in Solomon Islands for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

The New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully says about 80,000 Pacific people are blind, but 80 percent of them could have their sight restored through an operation.

He says the new regional eye care centre will deliver 1,900 eye surgeries a year and allow 11,000 people to have their eyes treated for a range of conditions.

The centre will also provide regional support and training for eye health professionals to help develop the Pacific workforce.

Construction of the new centre, which incorporates solar panels to generate most of its electricity needs, begins in Honiara later this month.

It should open within a year.