Tag Archives: Eye care

New vision for Indigenous eye care

Health professionals looking to bridge the gap in eye care for Indigenous communities have designed a new Eye & Vision Care Toolkit.

The toolkit, from the Vision Collaborative Research Centre and the Brien Holden Vision Institute, equips medical practitioners with a set of practical and scalable resources for improved eye health.

Eye problems in Indigenous communities are far higher than non-Indigenous people: rates of blindness in general are six times higher and diabetes-related blindness are 14 times higher.

Furthermore, the National Indigenous Eye Health Survey indicates 94% of vision loss is preventable or treatable.

Remoteness, cultural differences and follow through on health issues from diagnosis to treatment are persistent barriers, says Selina Madeleine, Global Communications Manager of the Brien Holden Vision Institute.

The Indigenous eye care toolkit addresses these identified gaps in the system by allowing health workers to assess current health care practices, and includes referral flowcharts and information that can be sent electronically, as well as eye testing kits.

The toolkit is also made with consideration of Indigenous community perspectives, says Madeleine.

“I don’t think there’s anything quite like this out there, specifically targeting improved eye care outcomes within the Indigenous population,” she adds.

The kit has been used for five years across NSW and the Northern Territory and measurements over the last two years show an increase in optometry examinations from 51% to 97% and in ophthalmology services from 28% to 93%.

Follow through from use of the Indigenous eye care toolkit has also jumped, with the proportion of referred individuals with diabetic retinopathy who saw an ophthalmologist up from 25% to 54%, and those referred for cataracts and who received surgery up from just 3% to 32%.

More funding needed

The toolkit is now being disseminated to hundreds of other health care workers in these states and Madeleine says the Institute plans to role it out further.

“We would like to role this out in other states across Australia because it has been so successful in the places we’ve used it so far.”

Madeline says a lack of funding is all that is preventing the widespread adoption of the toolkit elsewhere.

Guy Fenton

Buy Vision, Give Sight

Eyewear brand Revo and U2 lead singer Bono are joining forces with the Brien Holden Vision Institute to eliminate avoidable blindness and vision impairment.

“Eye tests and eye examinations are at the front line of eye care. But for millions of people without access, the simplest problems go untreated. It’s unnecessary and avoidable,” says Kovin Naidoo, Global Director of Programs, Brien Holden Vision Institute.

When consumers purchases Revo sunglasses, $10 from the sale of every pair will be donated by Revo to the “Buy Vision, Give Sight” initiative. To execute the initiative, Revo and Bono are partnering with the Brien Holden Vision Institute to provide sustainable solutions for eye care and end avoidable blindness and vision impairment in under-resourced communities.

Bono, who has a long track record in global health, particularly as an activist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, was diagnosed with glaucoma 20 years ago. His experience with glaucoma, for which he has received excellent treatment, has made him determined to find a way to increase access to frontline eye health services for others.


“The ‘Buy Vision, Give Sight’ campaign is a very personal one for me,” says Bono.

“Thanks to good medical care my eyes are okay, but tens of millions of people around the world with sight problems don’t have access to glasses, or even a basic eye test. Poor eyesight may not be life-threatening, but it dramatically affects your life and your livelihood if you aren’t able to fix it.  When we met with experts, they said the number one problem is untreated poor vision, which prevents a child from learning in school, or an adult from performing their job. Sight is a human right and the ‘Buy Vision, Give Sight’ initiative will help ensure millions of people have access to the eye exams and glasses they need to see.”



“With Brien Holden, we found a partner doing remarkable work, hand-in-hand with local communities.  It’s mind-expanding what they are achieving; we’re very excited to work in partnership with them and Revo,” says Bono.

Yehuda Shmidman, Sequential Brands Group CEO, commented, “We are very excited about this partnership. Revo’s pioneering lens technology has always put eye-health central to Revo products and we believe Revo buyers will embrace the idea that their purchase is helping someone else. We’re very proud to support Bono and the Brien Holden Vision Institute in their efforts to bring basic eye care services to millions of people around the world.”

Professor Brien Holden, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute says,”It is extremely helpful that Revo and Bono recognise the impact that uncorrected vision impairment has on the lives of the 625 million people globally who do not have access to a simple eye examination or pair of glasses.  Revo and Bono’s commitment to our programs will have a lasting impact on millions of lives globally.”

The funds donated by Revo will help pay for basic eye care services, particularly eye tests and prescription glasses, and also build stronger eye care services in target communities for the longer term by training local people to provide eye care and detect eye diseases.

During U2’s Innocence + Experience World Tour, Bono will exclusively wear Revo sunglasses. He has designed a capsule collection of sunglasses for the brand, available in the North American fall, which will include lenses outfitted with Revo’s LMSTM technology. As with all Revo sunglasses, $10 dollars from each pair of the Bono for Revo collection will go to the Brien Holden Vision Institute.

This article was published by the Brien Holden Vision Institute on 25 July 2015. Read the original article here.