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Eye care charity launches podcast series

Eye care charity launches podcast series

For immediate release: 15 October 2013

The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ today announced the launch of a podcast series to inform and inspire listeners interested in the issues of eye care, development and public health. The regular instalments of 10 minute conversations invite listeners into in depth discussions with key staff, development experts and even patients who’ve had their sight restored by The Foundation.  

Andrew Bell, Executive Director of The Foundation, said the platform offered a new way to share the challenges and successes of the organisation’s international work.

“Our doctors and nurses work in 13 countries spread across a huge area from Kiribati to Timor-Leste,” Bell said. “Every day our teams are overcoming incredible challenges in order to help more people see. The podcast platform is another way for our supporters to get a sense of the issues they deal with and the work they make possible.”

The first discussion focuses on trachoma and the work of Dr Richard Vipond. Vipond has been hired by The Foundation to assess the options for evaluating and taking action on trachoma in the Pacific. Bell emphasised how the conversation helps to highlight some of the medical research and strategic planning that underpins their development work.  

“The Foundation is a multifaceted, vibrant organisation that’s working on several fronts to help end avoidable blindness,” he said. “We hope this series will highlight that diversity and dynamism.”

The podcasts are being recorded at the NZ Radio Training School in Auckland. The series will feature a mixture of studio conversations, telephone interviews and on-location recordings from surgical outreaches in the Pacific.  

For Bell, the series also brings supporters into some of the policy and development discussions impacting The Foundation’s work.

“For the past 20 years, we’ve emphasised the direct impact that donors can have by restoring someone’s sight with a $25 donation,” said Bell. “This remains central to the story of our work but we’re also keen to share the insights into the context of our work and the experiences of the people who make this happen.”

In addition to the staff who help implement Fred Hollows’ vision of a world where no one is needlessly blind, Bell says the platform also offers a chance to hear from experts from other organisations.

“This is not just a conversation about our work,” said Bell. “We’ll be speaking with academics, government leaders and respected experts who will bring their ideas and perspectives to the questions of development and health care in the Pacific.”

The Foundation will feature the podcasts on its website, and will explore possibilities to broadcast selections with radio stations in NZ.  


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