A new eye centre to provide free eye care will open in Honiara mid next month.
A collaboration between the governments of Solomon Islands and New Zealand, with eye care charity, Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, the centre will have a significant impact on avoidable blindness in the country.
Lead Ophthalmologist at the centre Dr Claude Posala emphasises this service is for everyone, no matter what their age or background.
Four out of five people who are blind do not need to be. Their condition is preventable or treatable.
The new centre will help more Solomon Islanders who are needlessly blind, doubling the number of sight-restoring surgeries able to be performed in its first year.
Dr Posala says patients will go on to lead more independent, productive lives, and that is hugely satisfying.
Staff will also be available to conduct outreach clinics in neighbouring Pacific countries requiring eye care support.
Meanwhile, the Foundation’s Executive Director Andrew Bell explains, Solomon Islands is a recognised leader in Pacific eye care and as such, paving the way with training and new techniques.