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Landmark eye health survey will be completed

MEDIA RELEASE 

Vision 2020 Australia is pleased to announce that the Australian Government has funded the National Eye Health Survey’s (NEHS) $650,000 shortfall ensuring the much-needed research will be completed.

Being undertaken by Vision 2020 Australia and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), the research is the first nationwide study of the prevalence of eye conditions in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

CEO of Vision 2020 Australia, Jennifer Gersbeck, today applauded the Federal Minister for Health, Sussan Ley’s foresight in supporting the completion of this research project, saying the results would provide a comprehensive picture of the state of Australian eye health.

“It’s now full steam ahead for the research project which is on track to be completed in June 2016,” Ms Gersbeck said.

“On behalf of all the organisations and individuals involved in the project, we are delighted that the survey has been made a priority. It’s a real win for Australian eye health and will help direct services to where they are needed most,” she said.

“Minister Ley’s latest contribution takes the Government’s financial commitment for the survey to over $1.8 million. The additional contributions of close to $1 million from non-government and private sectors, highlights the broad support for this important project.”

Principal Investigator, Dr Mohamed Dirani stressed the value of finishing the survey. “Testing has already been completed in South Australia and the Northern Territory and is underway in Victoria and New South Wales, with activity to move into Western Australia and Queensland,” Dr Dirani said.

“The roll out of the NEHS will see the eye health of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians tested in a total of 30 sites, including urban, regional and remote locations across the country.”

“We are already seeing some interesting results which will provide invaluable data to enable better planning of eye health and vision care policy and service delivery. Participant response rates have been very positive and we have received some good feedback from those involved.”

The National Eye Health Survey is supported by the Australian Government under the Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund, with other contributions coming from CERA, OPSM, Novartis, Zeiss, Brien Holden Vision Institute, Optometry Australia, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

ENDS

Media Contact

Louise Rudzki, Vision 2020 Australia, (03) 9656 2020, 0414 784 359 or lrudzki@vision2020australia.org.au

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