The opening of the Rabaul Vision Centre late last year was the third new Vision Centre to open in 2011.
Blindness and poor vision has a serious impact on individual lives in PNG, leading to loss of productivity, greater unemployment and increased health care costs.
The Vision Centre program is part of an ongoing initiative between PNG Eye Care, the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE) and the PNG and Australian governments.
By using the existing structure of the regional health services we are creating a sustainable program to achieve greater access long term
PNG Eye Care Operations Manager Eileen Tugum said local staff – trained through collaborations with PNG Eye Care – are offering eye examinations, and prescribing spectacles at the Vision Centres.
“By using the existing structure of the regional health services we are creating a sustainable program to achieve greater access long term. Over time
this work will contribute to poverty alleviation by enabling people to engage fully in education and work opportunities,” Ms. Tugum said.
All six PNG Vision Centres are supported by the Australian Government’s Avoidable Blindness Initiative through Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium. The six centres are operating in Port Moresby, Lae, Mount Hagen, Buka, Mendi and now Rabaul.