News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Pacific Celebrates World Sight Day

Pacific Celebrates World Sight Day

The Fred Hollows Foundation (NZ) is celebrating today’s World Sight Day [eds: Thursday 9 Oct] around the Pacific. In conjunction with its partners in Vanuatu, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga, local festivities will draw attention to the need to reduce the amount of preventable blindness in the Pacific.

World Sight Day is marked annually as an opportunity to remind governments and the public that preventing loss of sight is more cost effective and humane than rehabilitating the blind. As part of the day’s activities around the Pacific there will be free vision testing in local markets, as well as the Members of Parliament signing declarations of support for national eye care programmes.

In Vanuatu the Minister of Health is signing his commitment to the extension of the National Eye Care Program that The Fred Hollows Foundation has developed. This programme, now in its third year, has already resulted in nine eye care nurses and one doctor being trained in that country, as well as a new eye clinic having been built and equipped in the northern more populous island of Santo.

In Fiji and Tonga, the Prime Ministers and Directors of Health are both signing declarations of support to eliminate unnecessary blindness in those countries. The Foundation is a major supporter and funder of the development of national eye programmes right throughout the Pacific. These programmes focus on training doctors and nurses and building eye clinics so access to eye care becomes less problematic.

The Fred Hollows Foundation is a task force member of Vision 2020, a global WHO led campaign which is also launching a “Tool Kit” CD ROM on World Sight Day. The tool kit provides a step by step approach to developing local strategies which will help eradicate 80 per cent of blindness.

Governments around the world have this year shown their support for blindness prevention activities by unanimously voting in support of a Resolution at the 56th World Health Assembly in May 2003. The Resolution urges all Governments to develop, implement and evaluate Vision 2020 National Prevention of Blindness Plans, with a view to implementing them by 2007. In response to the acceptance of the Resolution, Vision 2020 has developed the ‘Tool Kit’ which provides guidance and support for Governments and health professions at all stages of development.

Dr Lee, Director General, World Health Organization (WHO) and Hannah Faal, President of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) stated that the successful implementation of country and district level Vision 2020 action plans will prevent millions of men, women and children from going blind, avoiding unnecessary suffering and saving billions in lost productivity by the year 2020.

The successful implementation of national blindness prevention initiatives will result in a minimum saving of US$102 billion in lost productivity by the year 2020.1

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland