Some of our lucky staff members were among the guests at a special reception hosted by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace last week. The event marked the completion of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. The Trust works with partners throughout the Commonwealth to eliminate avoidable blindness and has been supporting the diabetes eye disease programme of The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ since 2015.
Attendees included our Pacific Diabetes Eye Disease Programme Manager Komal Ram, Former Programme Director Marleen Nelisse and three eye nurses from across the Pacific; Basil Aitip, Savelina Veamatahau and Caroline Auva’a. For many of the visitors, the chance to meet Her Majesty The Queen was a once in a lifetime experience.
"Meeting Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace earlier this week was most definitely the highlight of my career in eye health," tweeted Marleen, after the event.
The Trust supports The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ’s Pacific Diabetes Eye Disease Programme, an initiative which operates in six countries including Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. The programme aims to increase the capacity of the existing eye health workforce, support the training of local doctors and nurses and improve diabetes awareness. It has had a significant impact on diabetes eye disease services throughout the Pacific.