The Clinics

Pacific Eye Institute

Suva, Fiji


The Pacific Eye Institute offers eye care training for doctors and nurses from the Pacific region and a full range of eye care services. The only training facility of its kind in the Pacific, The Institute is leading the charge against avoidable blindness by countering the massive shortage of eye specialists in the region.

Pacific Eye Institute/CWM Eye Department

Brown St, Suva
(+679) 3100 424

Opening hours

Mon - Thu: 8am – 4:30pm
Friday: 8am – 4pm
Saturday – Sunday: CLOSED

History

Low government spending, a lack of doctors and nurses, and rundown clinics and equipment are all huge challenges for eye care in the Pacific. For people living in remote areas, accessing the health care they need can be close to impossible. We established the Pacific Eye Institute in 2006 to help address these issues, with a focus on training local doctors and nurses.

For the first four years the Institute was located at Tamavua Hospital in Suva. In 2010, we built a new custom-made eye care and teaching facility on the grounds of the CWM Hospital. The Institute and the Hospital joined forces, and the Pacific Eye Institute is now an impressive eye care hub for the entire region.

In 2011, the Diabetes Eye Clinic opened on-site to provide diabetes eye care services and deliver a teaching programme for nurses in diabetes eye care. This followed our research in 2009 which revealed that more than 40 per cent of adults aged 40 years and over in Fiji have diabetes, meaning demand for diabetes eye care services is huge.

What training is offered at the Pacific Eye Institute?

Before the Pacific Eye Institute was established, Pacific doctors had to go to Papua New Guinea for training. Now they can train in their own region.

The Institute offers postgraduate courses focused on the particular eye care needs of the Pacific and provides professional development and support to graduates and eye care workers. It also advocates for investment in eye care and undertakes research. Courses are administered by Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

The Pacific Eye Institute is a significant provider of eye care services in Fiji and in outreach locations across the Pacific, performing around 2,000 eye surgeries a year. This means there are good opportunities for eye nurses and doctors in-training to get practical experience.

Key Achievements

In 2019, in partnership with CWM's Hospital’s eye department, the Pacific Eye Institute:

  • Gave 35,449 consultations
  • Performed 629 sight-saving surgeries
  • Carried out 1,232 diabetic laser treatments
  • Dispensed 2,480 spectacles

The Institute is also the base for the Pacific outreach team and the Mobile Eye Clinic, national surgical outreaches and local diabetes eye care outreaches which in 2019 delivered a further:

  • 11,394 consultations
  • 1,182 surgeries
  • 6,079 pairs of spectacles

The Pacific Eye Institute has trained 181 eye doctors, nurses, and technicians across 15 countries. In 2020 there are 16 students enrolled.

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