NZ public invited to step aboard mobile eye clinic for Fiji
NZ public invited to step aboard the first mobile eye clinic
The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ is throwing open the doors of its new mobile eye clinic, destined for Fiji. On 13 and 14 February, the public are warmly invited to step aboard the state-of-the-art clinic in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter.
Manufactured and funded by New Zealanders, the clinic is an 11.5 metre facility which will travel to remote parts of Fiji, providing sight-restoring services to needlessly blind people.
The Foundation’s Executive Director Andrew Bell says the open days are a unique opportunity to step foot inside a real-life eye clinic and learn about what’s involved in delivering eye care in the Pacific.
“What better way to understand the work we do than to come and see it for yourself?” asks Bell. “We’d love for everyone to visit Karanga Plaza in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter and tour around this incredible facility which has the potential to transform thousands of people’s lives with the gift of sight.”
Visitors are welcome to walk through the facility, observe the equipment to be used in eye treatments and surgeries, and speak with staff about the anticipated impact in Fiji.
Bell adds that the open days represent The Foundation’s thanks to the many donors who made its design and construction possible.
“This clinic is provided to the people of Fiji and was only possible because of generous Kiwis. It’s going to travel into rural Fijian communities that wouldn’t otherwise have access to eye care and give people a second chance at life. New Zealanders should be so proud.”
The mobile eye clinic will provide a full primary eye health examination service, and allow for many more cataract surgeries and diabetic retinopathy laser treatments to be performed each year.
The clinic has been transported nationwide by Mainfreight and will be shipped to Fiji in March by Matson South Pacific –both companies are donating their services. It will be the first time a travelling clinic of this nature has been deployed in the Pacific.
“To have all our medical equipment within a single vehicle and be a one-stop-shop for free eye checks, spectacles, cataract surgery, diabetic retinopathy laser treatment and a range of other eye conditions is nothing short of remarkable,” says Bell.
“By breaking down accessibility barriers, we hope to help clear the backlog of avoidable blindness in Fiji and tackle the issue of diabetes-related eye disease which we already know is rising dramatically right across the Pacific region.”
Construction and furnishing of the clinic with equipment totalled approximately NZD$750,000 with funding provided by a range of New Zealand donors. The clinic was designed and built in Hamilton by Action Motor Bodies who specialise in transport engineering.