- Wellness & Media Launch
- Donor Matrix Meeting Monitoring and Evaluation for Aid Effectiveness
- Launch of the Redeveloped Public Health Information System
- Disasters Happen NIMS MNP Intervention as a Nutrition Response to Disasters
- Fiji Group 89 – Swearing in Ceremony Peace CORPS/FIJI
- Allied Health Workers Forum
- Engaging Youth in Child Protection and Womens Empowerment to end Violence Against Women and Girls
- Population Dynamics Post 2015 Development Agenda
- Moving Forward to Making Every Life Count Global Summit on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Bangkok, Thailand
- Bronwyn Carabez of Carabez Alliance
- World Food Day Celebrations
- New Diabetes Eye Care Clinic at Sukuna Ward
- Pacific Eye Institute/CWM Hospital Eye Centre
- Health Promoting Workplace
- Gandhi Day Celebration
- Children’s Heart Foundation
- International Womens Day
- Visitation for Mahaffy Girls Home
- Emergency Care Assistant Course
- Fiji Food Summit 2009
- FMA Symposium - Fiji Health Symposium 2010
- World Health Day and Healthy Cities
- Commissioning of the Wainibokasi Mortuary
- JICA and JOCV in Fiji Health Sector
- World AIDS Day
- Fiji Pharmaceutical Society, Natadola
- Farewell of FSN to FNU
- Opening of Inaugral Suva based Civil Servants
- 160 Bicycles from Japan to Fiji
- National NCD Training of Trainers
- Post Grad Dip in Midwifery Inaugural
- Fiji White Ribbon Safe Motherhood Initiative
- National Health Accounts
- National Breastfeeding and Immunisation Wk
- National Health Workshop
Pacific Eye Institute/CWM Hospital Eye Centre
Tuesday 6TH October, 2009 : 2.00PM
Venue: BROWN STREET SITE
International Programs Director, Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, Dr Tom Schaefer,
Permanent Secretary for Health, Dr Salanieta Saketa,
Dean Fiji School of Medicine, Professor Ian Rouse,
Ladies & Gentlemen.
Good afternoon to you all. It gives me great pleasure to officiate in this groundbreaking ceremony this afternoon.
Today, we commemorate the groundbreaking for this very important building as far as eye services in Fiji and the Pacific is concerned.
This is a great moment as this has pegged another milestone for health services in Fiji particularly for eye care services at the CWM Hospital.
The people of Fiji are indeed grateful to the Fred Hollows Foundation (NZ) for giving the opportunity to Fiji to host the Pacific Eye Institute on this site which will also accommodate the CWM’s eye clinic and operating theatre.
Cabinet as you know, had in its 10th Meeting in August, 2009 endorsed the development of the Pacific Eye Institute (PEI) and the CWMH’s Eye Clinic. I am thus, very delighted that there has been a lot of progress with this decision and I would like to congratulate both the PEI and my Ministry’s staff for the hard yards that have been put into this project so far. With this excellent working partnership I am certain that the final outcome will be to the advantage of our people and the people of the Pacific as a whole.
Of the 8 million people across the Pacific, it is estimated there are about 80,000 people who are blind and up to 250,000 with significant vision impairment.
In Fiji alone, it is estimated that there are more than 25,000 people with significant vision impairment, of which more than 8,000 people are blind.
The commonest causes of blindness in Fiji are cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. These two eye diseases are providing a lot of challenges to our hospitals to such an extent that we are indeed grateful to the visiting eye teams that have been helping us reduce the backlog of blind persons needing treatment and surgery.
Unfortunately, there is also an acute shortage of trained eye care personnel to deal with the scope of the problem.
In Fiji, there are only 6 Ophthalmologists, of whom 3 are expatriates.
There are presently 5 doctors undergoing training in Ophthalmology. We also have a severe shortage of specialised Eye Nurses – we have only 5 trained eye nurses although the need is 30. These doctors and nurses need a good training program and good training facilities to efficiently train them.
I believe the Pacific Eye Institute is able to provide the required facility and program especially since the Pacific Eye Institute is partnering with the Fiji School of Medicine and the University of the South Pacific to deliver the training and the qualifications needed to meet our needs.
In addition to the shortage of appropriate human resources, we also lack good facilities to serve our visually impaired population. In the country we have 3 eye care facilities in the 3 divisional hospitals. In Suva we need a proper eye care facility which would be able to handle the load which our present facilities are barely coping to deal with. We need a facility which is fully equipped and staffed that will provide high quality services to our people.
The Pacific eye Institute is training doctors and nurses in the techniques needed in our region, with the equipment available in our region, to treat people who are unnecessarily blind. We are very happy that The Pacific Eye Institute is established in Fiji, especially in this climate of economic downturn. Fiji is central in the region and doctors and nurses can make the most of the facilities, and the good teaching environment at CWMH.
Today's event is an important step forward for our community, as it will allow more doctors and nurses to be trained to provide specialized treatment and surgery to our own people.
I would like to acknowledge the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ who spear-headed this initiative, through funding from her donor partners the Australian and New Zealand governments.
On behalf of Ministry of Health, I would like to thank the organizers of today's event for this opportunity particularly the Fred Hollows Foundation-NZ, the PEI, CWMH and all the partners involved.
I would like to congratulate you all for finding new solutions to help address the eye care and healthcare needs of Fiji.
Thank you & God Bless you all.
Minister of Health