A new Board member announced amidst increased focus on eye care in Papua New Guinea

Lady Roslyn Morauta, former First Lady of Papua New Guinea (PNG), has been appointed as a member of The Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Her appointment comes at a time when The Foundation, in partnership with the PNG National Department of Health, is increasing its focus on supporting eye care in PNG.

PNG not only has the highest rate of blindness in the Pacific, but it also has a massive shortage of eye doctors - it is estimated the country should have at least 90 eye doctors, yet currently there are only 12.

Announcing Lady Morauta’s appointment, The Foundation Chairman, Craig Fisher, said, “'I am delighted to announce that Lady Roslyn Morauta has accepted an invitation to join the important work of The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ. Lady Morauta will be the first Trustee appointed to the Board of The Foundation who is based in the region we serve. Her appointment marks a significant further step in the Board's ambition to strengthen local governance and management of The Foundation’s work to reduce avoidable blindness in the Pacific.”

“The Foundation is increasing its support to partners to help strengthen eye care in PNG, where over 40,000 people are blind in both eyes and nearly 68,000 are blind in one eye. Lady Morauta’s multi-faceted knowledge of the PNG political, social, and economic environment will be invaluable.”

Lady Morauta brings with her a wealth of experience with over four decades of experience in PNG’s public and private sectors, providing her with a deep knowledge of PNG government policy and practice, the PNG health system and the PNG economy. From 1999 – 2002 she was PNG’s First Lady where she focused on community work that provided her with extensive experience of global development and health policies. More recently, Lady Morauta serves as a director on several Boards including Vice Chair of the Board of the Global Fund and a Board Member for the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance.

“I am delighted to join The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ’s Board of Trustees,” says Lady Morauta. “The Foundation is a well-respected and effective organisation that has a strong reputation throughout the Pacific and beyond. With The Foundation’s focus on eye health in Papua New Guinea, I am looking forward to bringing my experience to the table and helping to lead The Foundation further towards its vision of ending avoidable blindness and vision impairment.”

The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ has been supporting eye care in PNG since 2002, helping to develop eye nurse training in partnership with the PNG National Department of Health and Divine Word University, with a total of 110 graduates to date. Annually, The Foundation supports an average delivery of 17,000 consults, 1,200 surgeries and 3,600 spectacles dispensed.

Eye health in PNG:

  • PNG has the highest rate of blindness and vision impairment in the Pacific.
  • It is estimated the country should have at least 90 eye doctors, yet currently there are only 12.
  • A survey carried out in 2017 found:
    • An estimated 5.6 per cent of adults aged over 50 are blind.
    • 40,746 people in PNG are bilaterally blind.
    • 67,987 are blind in one eye.
    • 61 per cent of blindness in PNG is experienced by women.
    • Two out of three people with refractive error are unable to access appropriate glasses.
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