What are the eye health problems?
The challenges of delivering health care in the Solomon Islands reflect those across other nations in the Pacific region. With low spending on health, low ratios of doctors and nurses to population, poor health infrastructure, environmental vulnerability, and geography that isolates much of the population from health services it can be extremely difficult to receive essential health care.
Our work in the Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands has a local eye care workforce who were trained by us at the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji and operate from various hospitals and eye clinics across the country.
All Foundation-trained eye doctors and the majority of the Foundation-trained nurses are based at the Regional Eye Centre in Honiara which we built in 2015. With this facility providing increased surgical capacity, the team are working towards eliminating the backlog of cataracts and helping to address other eye conditions. An outreach team from Honiara provides support to the other eye nurses placed across the country, helping deliver eye care services to their communities.
The clinic is off-the-grid, producing more energy than it can use through its solar panel system.
Progress in sight
In the Solomon Islands last year:
- Foundation-trained Dr Claude Posala, now Head of the National Ophthalmology Department at the Regional Eye Centre, completed the Asia Pacific Ophthalmic Association’s Leadership Development Program in March.
- A national survey assessing the rates of avoidable blindness was conducted. When we receive the final results in 2018 this valuable information will help us assess the impact The Foundation has had on eye care in the country to date and inform the development of our programme going forward.
- Two more doctors have begun training in ophthalmology at the Pacific Eye Institute. These doctors are expected to graduate in 2019 and 2021.
- We expect to meet our training targets for eye nurses by the end of this year. These targets are based on international standards using population size then adjusted according to the geographic spread of the population.