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International Women’s Day 2021 in the Western Pacific: Women Leaders in Eye Health

Published: 05.03.2021
Drew Keys IAPB Western Pacific Regional Manager
IWD2021-in-the-Western-Pacific Introduction

It’s often said that the Western Pacific is the most diverse of the WHO global regions. In the spirit of our IAPB 2021 International Women’s Day leadership theme, we celebrate that diversity by bringing you a series of posts from across the Western Pacific. The women who have written these pieces are all leaders in the eye health sector, yet their experiences, perspectives, interpretations and job titles are vastly different.

Our first piece is from Dr Audrey Aumua, the new Chief Executive Officer of the Fred Hollows Foundation, New Zealand, who shares with us her thoughts on making eye care more accessible to women in the Pacific Islands – we’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Audrey into the IAPB family. From New Zealand to Mongolia, where Dr Chimgee Chuluunkhuu describes leading remote Outreach activities in a country with the lowest population density on earth. In Singapore, we interview Dr Vandana Ramachandran from IAPB member SERI and a co-founder of Singapore Women in Science, before returning to the Pacific and Dr Lucilla Ah-Ching Sefo, the Ophthalmology Head of Department in Apia, Samoa. Finally, we conclude with a post by Jaki Adams of the Fred Hollows Foundation Australia – what leadership means to her both in the eye health sector and as an indigenous woman – a fitting way to end our series.

As individuals and together these women bring a richness of expertise and lived example to our region and our sector. A small sample of the incredible work and leadership that is undertaken every day, by women right across the Western Pacific.

Image on top: Explaining Vision Testing to an old woman during a Village Screening. FHFNZ, Papua New Guinea by Theresa Gende

#IWD2020 Women in Western Pacific

Chimgee Chuluunkhuu
Dr Chimgee Chuluunkhuu

Mongolia Country Director, Orbis

Jaki Adams

Director Social Justice & Regional Engagement, The Fred Hollows Foundation Australia

IWD2021 Audrey
Dr Audrey Aumua

Chief Executive, The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ

IWD Women Lucilla
Dr Lucilla Ah Ching-Sefo

Ophthalmologist, Samoa

Dr Vandana Ramachandaran
Dr Vandana Ramachandaran

Director for Research & Academic Affairs, Singapore Eye Research Institute

Disclaimer: The views, ideas, technologies or policy positions in these blog posts belong to the authors and do not necessarily describe IAPB’s position or views on these matters.