by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
Earlier this year, Fred Hollow Foundation shipped its mobile eye clinic to Fiji to provide eye assessment and surgery to distant villages which are unable to seek further medical services in Suva.
According to the world Health Organisation statistics; three quarters of all blindness globally can be treated or prevented. Amongst this, Pacific Islands has the highest rates of preventable blindness in the globe and the demand for eye medical care service is high.
As a Foundation focussed on reducing cost of eye health care and treatment in developing countries, Fred Hollow Foundation has shipped its eye medical container to Fiji, to help villages with eye problems.
During their operations, many visited the clinic to have their eyes assessed.
Apart from eye assessments, surgery also took place for those that were in great need of surgery.
From these operations, positive feedback was given from patients, encouraging for more mobile eye clinics.
Dr Harris Ansari, lead ophthalmologist on Mobile Clinic, said “one of my patients was brought in by two people for his cataract surgery. When he returned, one week after the surgery, he drove to the clinic himself”.
The clinic is able to conduct 10 surgeries a day and sees 30 patients per week. It is also equipped with state of the art pieces of equipment and serves as a training ground for nurses from other Pacific Island countries.
Dr Ansari says ‘the biggest benefit of having the mobile eye clinic is that it doesn’t take up already sketched local hospital resources, the container is self-contained and it can stay on site for four-six weeks at a time”.
As a first of its kind in the country, the free mobile eye clinic services have improved and changed the lives of many Fijians. The mobile clinic will continue providing for those who need eye care services in and around the Pacific Island.