In 2018, Specsavers is working with The Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF) to fund the Lions Outback Vision Van, and Specsavers optometrists and graduate optometrists will have an opportunity to participate in outreaches to Port Hedland, Western Australia as well as Fiji.
As part of its long-term partnership with FHF, Specsavers financially supports the charity through initiatives such as the Specsavers Community Program and the sale of limited edition glasses.
Each year, a number of Specsavers optometrists and graduate optometrists are also given the opportunity to take part in FHF’s training and outreach trips, where they gain first-hand experience of how the organisation is making a difference within the community.
This year, three outreach opportunities are available at the projects that Specsavers helps to fund – one in Port Hedland and two in Fiji.
Port Hedland, WA
The Port Hedland outreach involves working with the Lions Outback Vision Van, a mobile eye health clinic that provides comprehensive ophthalmology care for people living in remote and rural WA. The van consists of three consulting rooms fitted with specialist equipment, and addresses key eye conditions such as cataract, trachoma, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Participating optometrists will work with the Lions Outback Vision Van’s visiting specialist optometrist services team as it addresses the needs of the people within the community.
The trip will take place in August, with dates to be confirmed later this year.
The two Fijian training opportunities will take place at the Pacific Eye Institute (PEI), located in Suva, Fiji. The PEI is the Pacific region’s first training facility for eye-health professionals, with postgraduate students trained specifically to provide eye care in Pacific conditions.
The optometrists selected to take part in the Fijian outreaches will supervise the students as they see patients. In this critical role, they will have the opportunity to impart their clinical knowledge and experience, and equip the PEI students to deliver quality eye care within their local communities.
The first Fijian trip will be held from 28 May to 1 June. The second will take place from 4 to 12 June and include two additional days in Nadi assisting the FHF Mobile Eye Clinic as it performs cataract surgeries.
Read the stories below to learn more about the Specsavers-FHF outreaches:
Seeing Vietnam in a new light: An Vu
A step towards altering Vietnam’s outlook: Tuong Nghiem
Eyes on the Pacific: Ravi Singh
An eye-opening experience in Fiji: Lai Tran