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HomeminewsVision 2020: Major Programs

Vision 2020: Major Programs

Members of Vision 2020 Australia’s Global Consortium are implementing 14 programs across seven countries, focusing on the key tasks of training eye health staff, developing infrastructure including eye clinics, hospitals and Vision Centres, and directly tackling treatable diseases.

One of the 14 programs under the Global Consortium is focused on the upgrade of national Vision Centres in the Solomon Islands.

The International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE), with support from the Australian Government’s Avoidable Blindness Initiative (ABI) and in partnership with Foresight and the Solomon Islands National Referral Hospital, has opened an Optical Workshop providing the Solomon Islands with an invaluable spectacles manufacturing service.

Since the Optical Workshop began operations in March 2010, ICEE-educated workshop operators have made over 300 pairs of glasses, providing glasses to patients of the National Referral Hospital Ophthalmology Department who require refractive correction. In the future, the workshop will expand operations to rural areas and remote islands.

Until we opened the Optical Workshop in Honiara, there was no place in the Solomon Islands with appropriate facilities to provide prescription spectacles. There was an entire country without the capacity to make a pair of glasses. Expanding services outside the main centre was a logical step for the project and one that has been incredibly successful.

Enosh, is 29 years old and an ICEE-educated workshop operator. He is one of only two spectacle technicians in the Solomon Islands who have made over 300 pairs of glasses since operations began in March 2010. Enosh is excited to be at the forefront of eye care in the Solomon Islands.

Enosh and the network of ophthalmic nurses are filling the gap in an eye care system that until now was incomplete. Ophthalmic nurses from outer lying communities, educated by ICEE to provide these services, will be able to fax spectacle requirements to the workshop. Once glasses are made, they are sent via the country’s National Medical Stores for the nurses to dispense to their patients.

ICEE Project Manager for the Solomon Islands, Naomi Freuden, is proud of the progress Enosh and the team have made.

“Until we opened the Optical Workshop in Honiara, there was no place in the Solomon Islands with appropriate facilities to provide prescription spectacles. There was an entire country without the capacity to make a pair of glasses. Expanding services outside the main centre was a logical step for the project and one that has been incredibly successful.”