Situation in Brief

Kiribati mapOne eye doctor from Kiribati is completing her Master of Medicine in Ophthalmology at the Pacific Eye Institute. Two nurses have completed postgraduate diplomas in eye care while another two ophthalmic nurses are being trained. To strengthen eye care provision across the country, IAPB hosted a Primary Eye Care Workshop to work with nurses in rural health centres in 2012. Prevalence surveys for trachoma were conducted in 2012 and showed Kiribati to be endemic for trachoma.

Kiribati in WPR mapA Trachoma Action Plan Workshop was held in 2013 and the plan will be reviewed and renewed this year. Activities for trachoma elimination will be explored and start soon, with funding from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. With support from IAPB, the Ministry of Health is continuing to draft the first national plan for Kiribati. More generally, while health indicators have improved over the last decade, life expectancy in Kiribati is still among the lowest in the Pacific. The prevalence of non-communicable diseases is increasing, with smoking and poor nutrition being key contributors. Many communities have inadequate water supplies, poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water.

Country Statistics

Human development index value:0.607
National Prevention of Blindness Committee active:No
National Eye Health Plan Developed:Drafting
Cataract surgical rate:1,690
Number of ophthalmologists:1 in Training
Blindness prevalence:1.0% (2009 estimate)
Main causes of blindness:Cataract, diabetic retinopathy, corneal blindness (2009 data)
Total expenditure on health as percentage of total government expenditure:10.3
Diabetes prevalence:25.9%
Improved drinking water coverage:67
Improved sanitation coverage:40
Endemic areas for trachoma:Yes. 2012 surveys found trachoma to be a public health problem. A Trachoma Action Plan has been developed.