In 2014, the Solomon Islands eye team were in desperate need of a suitable eye care facility. Although there was a team of local eye care specialists, there was still significant need for proper infrastructure, facilities, and equipment.
With that in mind, we built the Regional Eye Centre with funds generously provided by the New Zealand Aid Programme and the New Zealand public. The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and the World Diabetes Foundation provided additional support.
The build was completed in August 2015, and that same month we handed over ownership 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. It also forms the base for nationwide outreaches, which reaches large sections of the population that would otherwise have limited access to eye care.
Dr Nola Pikacha is Head of Department, Ophthalmology at Regional Eye Centre and a FHFNZ trained graduate
The Regional Eye Centre is powered by solar panels, relies entirely on rainwater, and has its own sewerage treatment system. As well as being kind to the environment, this provides considerable cost-savings to the local Ministry of Health. It also means the clinic doesn’t need to rely on the local electricity supply which is unreliable and would cost an estimated NZ$450 per day to power the entire centre.
In 2020 the Regional Eye Centre provided:
The Regional Eye Centre is also the base for national surgical outreaches and diabetes eye care outreaches, which in 2020 delivered a further: