Where we work


Kiribati is one of the most physically remote and dispersed countries in the world, making it very difficult for just one fully trained ophthalmologist supported by a trainee eye doctor to reach everyone in need.

What are the eye health problems?

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 22.1 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.

Our work in Kiribati

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 trainee eye doctor. We're also helping to raise awareness within the health sector about diabetes and the impact it can have on eye health. We support the training of health nurses to recognise and refer diabetic patients to the eye clinic, which helps the eye care clinicians reach people in remote villages.

The team get together to discuss the programme for the day, which will involve consultations, surgeries and follow-ups.
A patient is assessed on outreach

Progress in sight

  • Upon request of the local team, we continue to support the clinic with up-to-date equipment, medicines and supplies.
  • The eye care team is raising awareness of diabetes eye disease by training primary health carers to refer patients to the clinic. An average of 100 diabetic patients are screened for signs of diabetic eye disease monthly.

2021 key highlights

  • 889 diabetic retinopathy screenings conducted.* 
  • 328 diabetic retinopathy treatment sessions conducted.*
  • 1 outreach conducted to make eye care services accessible to remote communities across Kiribati.*
  • 12 primary health workers upskilled in diabetes and diabetic retinopathy awareness 2 medical assistants attended clinical attachment trainings at the main eye clinic. 

*data only available for Q1-Q3 2022, and services were also disrupted due to Covid-19 outbreak restrictions

Where we work

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