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.
Kirti Prasad is the Country Manager for Fiji. She has over 20 year’s experience working in eye health and brings to the team an enormous wealth of knowledge, skills, and commitment. Kirti has held several key roles supporting important components of our work, including the Mobile Eye Clinic (MEC), the Pacific Eye Institute, and local and regional outreach programmes.
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.
Amelia is a nurse by profession who looks after the workforce of trained eye care graduates in the Pacific and PNG.
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.
A trained nurse, Sereima brings to Team Fred a distinguished career in healthcare, including 26 years with the Fiji Ministry of Health, along with a passion for supporting and helping others. Sereima works with the Foundation-supported clinics and eye care specialists across the Pacific Region to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe and patient-centred eye care for Pacific communities.
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.
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.
Lucinda brings to Team Fred more than 20 years of experience in sustainable development work in Papua New Guinea, including senior programme management, team leadership, and partnership engagement and support.
Lucinda has significant professional experience with both the not-for-profit and private sectors. She has worked for a number of years with the PNG Community Development Scheme, and later in a senior role with the nationwide governance programme, Strongim People, Strongim Nesen (Strong People, Strong Nation). Lucinda worked as Chief Executive for PNG’s well known Buk bilong Pikinini (Books for Children) which promotes child literacy throughout PNG; and most recently, she worked as the senior advisor and manager for sustainable development with the Oil Search Foundation in Papua New Guinea.
Lucinda says that her passion lies in helping to change lives, making a difference, adding value and pursuing excellence to impact society in a meaningful way.
Lucinda comes from Kranget Island, Madang and Finchaffen, in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. She is a wife and mum to four children and can speak four languages, including English.
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.
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.