Fund­ing boost for vi­sion health pro­gram

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A spe­cial­ist eye health van will be able to train Pil­bara health work­ers to screen for vi­sion prob­lems at an early stage and pre­vent them wors­en­ing thanks to a new fund­ing part­ner­ship.

The Devil Creek Gas Plant, a joint ven­ture be­tween Quad­rant En­ergy and San­tos Devil, last week an­nounced $50,000 fund­ing a year to­wards the Lions Out­back Vi­sion Van’s out­reach eye health pro­gram.

The pro­gram will train GPs, pri­mary health­care work­ers, Abo­rig­i­nal li­ai­son of­fi­cers, Abo­rig­i­nal med­i­cal ser­vices, and other health work­ers in the Pil­bara in how to screen for eye con­di­tions as well as pro­mote fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion on eye health.

Lions Out­back Vi­sion McCusker direc­tor An­gus Turner, who vis­ited Kar­ratha for a morn­ing tea to an­nounce the pro­gram on Fri­day, said a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of eye health is­sues could be pre­vented if they were caught at an early stage, mak­ing the train­ing of GPs ex­tremely valu­able.

“These com­mu­nity cham­pi­ons for eye health are the core of the Lions Out­back Vi­sion model of care,” he said.

“A con­stant need for the im­proved ed­u­ca­tion, aware­ness and ca­pac­ity-build­ing of health work­ers is re­quired to ad­dress health is­sues such as di­a­betes man­age­ment where early in­ter­ven­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and reg­u­lar mon­i­tor­ing can re­duce the in­ci­dence of vi­sion-re­lated im­pacts.”

The Vi­sion Van and its team of eye health spe­cial­ists travel to 16 re­gional hos­pi­tals, in­clud­ing Kar­ratha and Port Hed­land, each year to treat re­ferred pa­tients us­ing ad­vanced oph­thal­mo­log­i­cal tech­nol­ogy.

Quad­rant En­ergy direc­tor of gov­ern­ment and pub­lic af­fairs, David Parker, said the out­reach pro­gram was a good match with the North West-based oil and as com­pany’s val­ues.

“Eye health re­ally strikes at the heart of the health and safety val­ues which a com­pany like ours seeks to pro­mote,” he said.

“It was a very good fit in terms of re­mote area health with a re­gional busi­ness such as ours.”

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long, Quad­rant En­ergy direc­tor of gov­ern­ment and pub­lic af­fairs David Parker and Lions Out­back Vi­sion McCusker direc­tor An­gus Turner in the spe­cial­ist eye health van.

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