20,000 Cataract Surgeries by 2020 – PNG

Regional Program Manager, Western Pacific
Organisation: International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness

20,000 Cataract Surgeries by 2020 – PNG/ National Blindness Prevention meeting in PNGIn the Western Pacific we’re increasingly seeing our members and partners bucking engaging stakeholders in work that translates research into actions. Nowhere was this more obvious than at the recent National Prevention of Blindness Committee meeting in Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby. The PBL, together with WHO WPRO adviser, Dr Andreas Mueller convened a meeting to address cataract surgery issues raised by last year’s RAAB – delivered by Brien Holden Vision Institute and PNG Eye Care and funded by the Fred Hollows Foundation Australia, the RAAB revealed enormous challenges which the PBL is addressing one-by-one.

At last week’s meeting, the group – which also includes IAPB members CBM, YWAM and Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand determined to tackle the cataract surgery backlog head-on (this is a backlog that is amongst the worst in the world, despite the best efforts of the small, hardworking team of PNG surgeons). From now until 11GA in 2020, the PNG stakeholders are determined to complete 20,000 cataract surgeries… no easy task in a country as complicated as PNG. Stay tuned for an official launch in October, which is expected to bring together a band of international participants right in time for World Sight Day.