The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ has donated over $2 million worth of eye care equipment to the Regional Eye Centre at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
The equipment was handed over today in an official ceremony attended by Dr John Szetu, Medical Director for The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, and representatives from the National Referral Hospital.
Dr John Szetu, who is based at the Regional Eye Centre in Honiara, says, “This equipment will enable the Centre to strengthen the eye care programme in Solomon Islands.”
“It is a timely donation that will do much to support the local team based at the Regional Eye Centre, who are working tirelessly to tackle the enormous burden of avoidable blindness, which has particularly accumulated during the pandemic.”
“This donation includes equipment that will support the eye care team to re-start outreaches to remote locations, following the lockdowns that we have faced due to COVID-19. It will ensure we can restore sight to people all throughout Solomon Islands who have been living in blindness throughout the pandemic.”
The donated equipment includes two portable operating microscopes that can be used on outreaches throughout the country, as well as slit lamps and a Zeiss microscope that has teaching capabilities as well.
The Regional Eye Centre was built by The Fred hollows Foundation NZ in 2015, with ownership then handed over to the Solomon Islands Government. The Centre is managed by a local team within the Solomon Islands’ Ministry of Health and Medical and Services and is helping in the fight to end avoidable blindness.