PLANS to build a state of the art eye care centre in Honiara took a step forward with a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday at the grounds of the National Referral Hospital (NRH).
This new facility will be built by the New Zealand Government in association with the Fred Hollows Foundation.
Officiating at the ground-breaking were NRH CEO Dr George Maninu, program medical Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF) Solomon Islands rep Dr John Szetu, head of t the eye-department Dr Claude Posala, and Andrew Bell, CEO of Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand.
Dr Szetu said the new health centre is part of eye department at NRH that will be built at one section of the hospital car park.
“The new facility will have two extra surgical suits that will allow people to receive quality eye care service,” he said.
Dr Szetu explained the main objective behind this significant initiative is to provide quality trainings and eye care service.
He said this would allow nurses working at the hospital eye department to stay in the country and undergo training.
CEO Dr Maninu added this would bring back services to the country rather than sending out eye trainers to health institutes in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Fiji or Vanuatu.
“They can base and enrol here (in the country) and trained. When we send out our eye nurses overseas we loses services but this new health facility would provide quality services and trainings,” he said.
Both doctors highlighted this is a good example for the country that would also bring in eye doctors or nurses to be trained here.
The Fred Hollows Foundation is working with the New Zealand government to build the eye-care centre.
The construction on the new health centre will begin sometimes soon to allow the centre to open early next year.
By TRIXIE CARTER