In 2001, aware of the urgent need for eye care services in Vanuatu, we partnered with the Ministry of Health to launch the country’s first national eye care programme and open the National Eye Centre in Port Vila. Then in 2018, nearly 17 years later, we began a $2.5 million upgrade and expansion of the National Eye Centre, which was officially reopened in February 2019.
The upgraded eye centre, combined with the recent return of Dr Johnson Kasso, a Foundation-trained eye doctor, will go a long way to increasing Vanuatu’s eye surgery capacity from 200 to 800 per year. This will meet the target surgical rate to eliminate avoidable blindness in the country, as estimated by the World Health Organization.
The upgrade and expansion of the eye centre included: