A key milestone in the planning for the 2013-2015 Avoidable Blindness Initiative has been achieved, with AusAID approving the concept design. More detailed planning can now commence focused on the three countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia and East Timor. Working Groups have been formed and in country consultation will take place in late August/early September. The final design plan must be approved by the end of the year, so that programs can commence in early 2013.
A new purpose built diabetes eye clinic was opened in Suva, Fiji in June 2012. This clinic received support from Global Consortium members The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) and the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), in partnership with The Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand (FHFNZ) and the Pacific Eye Institute. In 2009, more then 40 per cent of adults aged 40 years and over in Fiji had diabetes, many of whom also experienced diabetic retinopathy. This new clinic has three times the capacity of FHFNZ’s existing clinic in Suva, and represents a significant step towards achieving a more comprehensive approach to tackling diabetes related eye disease in Fiji.