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Ignoring Low Vision Short Sighted, Says Trust

10 March 2014

Ignoring Low Vision Short Sighted, Says Trust

"Allowing New Zealanders with failing eyesight to struggle on unaided comes at a huge cost - socially, culturally and economically," says Dr Lynley Hood, spokesperson for VICTA (Visual Impairment Charitable Trust Aotearoa NZ).

"That the number of low vision clinics in public hospitals has fallen from ten to two at a time when age-related vision loss is escalating is a scandal. Over 93,000 New Zealanders have incurable eye disorders that impair their ability to do everyday tasks like reading, driving and shopping, but only 12 percent of them are blind enough to get help from the Blind Foundation. For the rest there's next to nothing."

On Wednesday 12 March at 11am, Associate Professor Gordon Sanderson, chair of VICTA, and Dr Hood will address the Health Select Committee on the urgent need for comprehensive, accessible low vision rehabilitation services in New Zealand.

"Low vision rehabilitation prevents falls and enables the elderly to live active independent lives. The savings to Vote Health alone will more than pay for the restoration of quality low vision clinics," Associate Professor Sanderson says.

www.visualimpairment.org.nz

ENDS

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