The country’s only ophthalmologist graduated from the Pacific Eye Institute in December 2014 and now delivers eye care for the entire country. With an estimated 28.1 per cent of the population suffering from diabetes, Kiribati has a large number of people in need of regular screening for signs of diabetes eye disease. Many require urgent treatment, but the health system is simply not set up to meet the need.
In 2017 we upgraded the eye clinic, and we’re continuing to support Dr Rabebe in her role as Head of Department for Ophthalmology. Dr Erena Kum-kei assists her as a trained eye doctor. We're also raising awareness within the health sector about diabetes and the impact it can have on eye health. We’re training health nurses to recognise and refer diabetic patients to the eye clinic, which helps us reach people in remote villages.