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Since graduating as an ophthalmologist in the late 1990s, Dr Garap has driven the development and coordination of eye health in Papua New Guinea. Leading with IAPB and IAPB members, she has been responsible for development of the National Prevention of Blindness Committee of PNG (PBL) – established in 2012 and now recognised in the Western Pacific Region as one of the most effective advocacy and coordination bodies of its kind. The PBL under Dr Garap’s leadership successfully advocated for a Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness in 2017 (including DR, the first of its kind in the sub-region).
Prior to this Dr Garap successfully advocated for a Global Trachoma Mapping Project in PNG – completed in 2015. In both instances Dr Garap was told that these research projects could not be completed in a country as diverse and challenging as PNG – she proved the naysayers wrong on both occasions, working in the field as well as in the capacity of technical and training lead to deliver results which have set PNG apart from her neighbours in research capacity and availability of data. Dr Garap has successfully advocated for the upgrading of the Port Moresby General Hospital Eye Clinic as the focal point for eye care training and tertiary service delivery in PNG. She has driven a public-health focussed education agenda for ophthalmologists, which culminated in the opening of a national teaching centre for ophthalmology at University of Papua New Guinea in 2017. It is fitting that Dr Garap is now the scholar in residence – having developed a programme she spent so many years advocating to establish.
Dr Garap brought affordable spectacle supply to PNG when she convinced the late Professor Brien Holden to invest in PNG. Her efforts were recognised in the awarding of an Eye Health Hero Award at the 10GA in 2016. It is for these reasons that Dr Jambi Garap should be recognised for her tireless efforts in the pursuit of the ideals of Vision 2020.