Dr John Szetu has been with The Foundation since it started delivering programmes in the Pacific in 2001. He currently holds the position of Medical Director, based at the Regional Eye Centre in the Solomon Islands, where he works as an Ophthalmologist.
Among his myriad other achievements, Dr Szetu (with the support of The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ) established the Pacific Eye Institute in 2006, a training centre for Pacific eye health workers now located in Suva, Fiji. At around the same time, he formed the Pacific Eye Care Society (PacEYES) to represent the interests of eye care professionals working in the Pacific Islands region. Dr Szetu also held the position of IAPB Western Pacific Region Co-Chair for the Pacific Islands Sub–Region from 2009–2012.
Dr Szetu had long recognised the importance of training Pacific eye health workers to deliver eye care in their own communities and has always advocated strongly for formalising ophthalmic training, both of doctors and nurses in the Pacific. He realised that more of both cadres were badly needed to cater for the particular needs of the small but scattered populations across the islands. He has an impressive track record in designing and implementing training courses for eye care nurses and supervising registrars in the Pacific. His successful programmes in training and clinical service in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands are held in high regard throughout the Pacific eye health sector.
The growth of the Pacific Eye Institute reflects the respect that Dr Szetu commands amongst his colleagues from the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia. He has been able to inspire others to provide increasingly high-quality eye health care and leadership for their own communities. Dr Szetu is highly respected by the global eye health community and has inspired others to join the fight against avoidable blindness.
Dr Telaite Biu is the lead ophthalmologist for diabetes eye care. Diabetes is the third most common cause of visual impairment in Fiji, and Dr Biu and her team provide diabetes eye screening and treatment in central Fiji and train eye care professionals from around the Pacific in diabetes eye care.
Ms Prasad is currently the Pacific Programme Manager based at the Pacific Eye Institute. Kirti's current role is a secondment, and she has previously fulfilled the role of the General Manager at Pacific Eye Institute. She’s supported the work of the Pacific Eye Institute from day one, from the Mobile Eye Clinic through to local and regional outreaches.
Ms Luoni is the Workforce and Academic Manager and a qualified optometrist. She manages the workforce support programme to our graduate nurses and mid-level eye care personnel so they can continue to provide quality eye care services throughout the Pacific.
Dr Rorogasa is an Assistant Professor working with Fiji National University. She has a Master of Medicine in Ophthalmology and is currently completing her sub-speciality in Vitreo-retinal surgery via the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO).
Ms Avikashni is an Assistant Lecturer working with Fiji National University. She teaches the postgraduate nurses programme at Pacific Eye Institute which graduates up to ten eye care nurses per year from around the Pacific.
Ms. Lingam is a Lecturer working with Fiji National University. She teaches the postgraduate nurses programme at Pacific Eye Institute which graduates up to ten eye care nurses per year from around the Pacific.
Dr Tekaroi is the only ophthalmologist in Kiribati. She was instrumental in establishing the eye clinic at Tungaru Central Hospital following her graduation from the Pacific Eye Institute in 2014. More recently Dr Tekaroi has been part of efforts to improve pathways for diabetes patients to access essential eye care.
Ms Tugum joined The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ (FHFNZ) in 2020. Eileen has extensive experience in the non-profit sector, including significant experience in the Papua New Guinea eye sector.
Eileen is based in Port Moresby and oversees the Papua New Guinea Country Programme, working closely with our Madang-based team, as well as the wider regional FHFNZ team, and key partners and stakeholders.
Dr Pahau is the Head of the Ophthalmology Department at Madang Provincial Hospital. He also leads the Fred Hollows Foundation Papua New Guinea outreach team to perform free eye surgeries across the country.
Ms Bare is the Nursing Unit Manager at the Madang Provincial Hospital Eye Clinic. She's also the Outreach Coordinator for the Madang Programme and the Treasurer of the Papua New Guinea Ophthalmic Clinicians Association.
Dr. Owusu-Afriyie is a Teaching Optometrist in Madang. He teaches the nurses training programme at Divine Word University which graduates up to ten eye care nurses per year from around Papua New Guinea.
Ms Gende is the Education Manager for the nurses training programme at Divine Word University in Papua New Guinea. She's also the Vice President of the National Prevention of Blindness Committee and the Secretary of the Papua New Guinea Ophthalmic Clinicians Association.
Dr Pikacha is the Head of Department for Ophthalmology at the Regional Eye Centre in Solomon Islands leads the national diabetes eye programme in Solomon Islands. Employed by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services, she is the first female ophthalmologist in her country.
Konio is the Clinical Nurse Advisor and Senior OT Nurse at the Regional Eye Centre in Honiara, Solomon Islands. As a Senior Eye Care Nurse, Konio is responsible for the care of patients in the Eye Clinic, Ward and Operating Theatre. She also supports the management and clinical staff by advising on improvements to processes and procedures within the centre.
Dr Duke Mataka graduated with his Master of Medicine in Ophthalmology from the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji in 2018. He is currently the only permanent ophthalmologist in Tonga, and travels around the country to provide eye care services on national outreaches.
Dr Johnson Kasso graduated with his Master of Medicine in Ophthalmology from the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji in 2018. He is the only permanent ophthalmologist in Vanuatu, and travels around the country to provide eye care services on national outreaches.