In a tiny rural community high in the mountains of Timor-Leste I sit on a rickety old wooden bench among a group of elderly Timorese. They wait patiently and excitedly, creating a buzz of chatter and curiosity. The mobile eye clinic has arrived and the team are setting up. The mountain is so high that we are sitting above the clouds, but what lies hidden from view is a tiny village without electricity; without running water; without a health clinic and with only one classroom.
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In the fourth interview of our Q&A series Vision 2020 Australia talks to The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s (NACCHO) CEO, Lisa Briggs, about Investing in Healthy Futures for generational change: NACCHO 10 Point Plan 2013-2030, comprehensive primary health care and the people who have inspired her during her career. Ms Briggs has a wealth of experience in the field of Aboriginal health, predominantly within the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector.
Wednesday 17 July was the Australian Disability and Development Consortium’s (ADDC) Day of Action to campaign for the appointment of an Ambassador for Disability-Inclusive Development within AusAID.
Do you know someone who has diabetes? Are you managing the condition yourself? Almost certainly, you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to the first question and you may also have answered ‘Yes’ to the second. In fact, Diabetes Australia estimates that approximately 1.7 million Australians are currently living with diabetes, with about 275 new cases every day. July 14 – 20 is National Diabetes Week and I’d like to tell you about one of the fantastic Vision Initiative activities: the Diabetes and Eye Health project.
In the third interview of our Q&A series, Vision 2020 Australia talks to The Fred Hollows Foundation CEO, Brian Doolan about The Foundation’s recent win of The Australian Charity of the Year award, principles for running an effective charity business and key projects in Indigenous Australia and abroad.
On my way home to Fiji, I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the things I had learnt and the many exciting experiences I had had in that one short week at Vision 2020 Australia.
With the imminent commencement of DisabililtyCare Australia on 1 July, it seems timely to take a moment to think about how far Australia has come since the concept of a lifetime of support for people with disabilities was introduced in 2010.
What a month May has been for global eye health! Not only have we had the new Global Action Plan adopted at the World Health Assembly but large steps have also been taken towards the development of the draft Regional Action Plan.
I was diagnosed with keratoconus when I was fifteen, but I had glasses from age eleven and, against my wishes, was forced to permanently sit at the front of the classroom at school. The new glasses never seemed to be effective for very long and those four years of relatively rapid vision loss was the start of countless visits to optometrists and opthalmologists. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the frequent change in glasses prescription was the first tell-tale sign of this degenerative corneal disease.
In the second interview of our Q&A series, Vision 2020 Australia talks to Dr. Penny Allen about the amazing Bionic Eye Project currently running in pilot phase. Dr. Allen is an ophthalmologist in the medical and vitreoretinal unit at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH); a medical retina and vitreoretinal surgeon on staff at The Alfred; and Program Leader, Surgical Program at Bionic Vision Australia. She is also an associate at the Centre for Eye Research Australia.
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