Tens of thousands of New Zealanders with diabetes are missing out on free health checks that could save their eyesight, writes Nicholas Jones. Imagine the terror of waking to find yourself completely blind. When it happened to Anne Niulesa, she scrambled to find some light.
[Story by Nicholas Jones. Originally published in the Weekend Herald, 3 April 2021]
Eye Health Aotearoa needs your help.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) Māori and Pasifika Eye Health Committee and Kāpō Māori Aotearoa invite Māori, Pasifika, whānau, friends and allies to complete a short survey.
7-13 March 2021 is World Glaucoma Week. This week is a global initiative of the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) in order to raise awareness of glaucoma. Glaucoma affects 2% of Kiwis over the age of 40, and about 10% of those over 70.
Impression of glaucoma vision: Labrador.
New Zealand’s eye care organisations’ umbrella group Eye Health Aotearoa* has launched an open letter petition addressed to the health minister Andrew Little, calling on the government to fund New Zealand’s first National Eye Health Survey (NEHS).
[Story originally published at Eye On Optics www.nzoptics.co.nz/articles/archive/pressure-mounts-for-eye-health-survey]
John Mulka, Eye Health Aotearoa trustee and chief executive of Blind Low Vision NZ.
On Thursday 15 October 2020, the World Blind Union (WBU) joins the rest of the world in observing White Cane Safety Day.
White Cane Safety Day reminds the world of the importance of the White Cane as a tool for independent living for persons who are blind and partially sighted.
The government appears to have cut plans for the much-anticipated free eye health exam for seniors, opting instead for a very basic, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) check by GP nurses as part of its broader commitment to a free annual health assessment for SuperGold cardholders. But such a basic eye check for AMD alone could actually be detrimental to older people’s vision, warn industry leaders, disappointed by the development and the government’s complete lack of consultation and understanding about eye health.
[Story by Lesley Springall. Originally published at Eye On Optics www.nzoptics.co.nz/articles/archive/eye-check-dumbed-down-sidelined/]
On Thursday 8 October 2020, the World Blind Union (WBU) joins the rest of the world in observing World Sight Day. World Sight Day is the main advocacy event for raising awareness about blindness and vision impairment - The Right To Sight - and is observed annually on the second Thursday of October.
Sight problems in primary school children are remaining undiagnosed for years due to insufficient eye checks. The head of the University of Auckland's School of Optometry and Vision Science, and chair of Eye Health Aotearoa, estimates one in ten children in New Zealand needs glasses and don't have them because screening is inadequate. Professor Steven Dakin says vision problems can go unchecked for years, and short sightedness, and long sightedness are not part of pre school testing. He advocates a nationwide mobile school screening programme, so children who have correctable vision problems can be treated.