The Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand is working with the New Zealand government to build a state-of-the-art eye care center in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
The $3.8m investment will create a sustainably designed facility and represents an ongoing commitment from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the charity founded over 20 years ago by the late Professor Fred Hollows.
A government statement reports, the Foundation’s Executive Director Andrew Bell as saying this will give a lasting impact of the centre for Solomon Islanders and the importance of accessible eye care for all.
He says, this investment by the New Zealand government will allow thousands of people receive quality eye care in the decades to come.
Mr Bell says the Foundation has trained an outstanding team of eye doctors from the Solomon Islands adding, with this centre, they will be able to fully utilise their skills to assist more people in need.
Bell says the centre is an example of the enduring influence of Professor Fred Hollows, adding, the Foundation is working to realise Fred’s dream of a world free from avoidable blindness.
Meanwhile, he says patients in the developing world are deserving of the same quality eye care expected in New Zealand.
The Foundation Director says the new facility sends a strong message to the people of the Solomon Islands and the Pacific region.
He adds, the new centre will visibly demonstrate that eye care is a priority, adding that second-hand equipment and makeshift clinics are not good enough to help Solomon Islanders who are blind.
Bell says the contract plays a critical role in The Foundation’s ongoing strategy to make the Pacific region sustainable in eye care.
In restoring sight to more people, he says the centre will form the hub of a regional strategy to support eye nurse graduates and provide additional training facilities.
He says they are committed to working on the ground to provide long-term solutions and develop local leadership in eye care.
The new health centre was designed by award-winning New Zealand architect Pete Bossley and is firmly rooted in sustainable design principles.