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Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2020

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Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2020

This week we acknowledge and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through NAIDOC Week.

The rate of blindness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is three times higher than non-Indigenous Australians. While 90 per cent of vision loss for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is preventable or treatable, 35 per cent have never had an eye examination¹.

A major challenge in addressing the gap in eye health is connecting regional and remote Western Australians to eye health services. In remote Western Australia, eye specialist coverage is up to 19 times lower than in urban Australia.

The Lions Eye Institute recently opened its North West Hub in Broome. The hub will provide greater equity of eye health services, transforming patient care in remote, regional and vulnerable Aboriginal communities in the north west of Australia. As well as enabling patients to be treated close to home, without the need to travel thousands of kilometres, it will build capacity among Aboriginal health workers, create employment and offer training opportunities for the local health care workforce.

In addition to the North West Hub, the Lions Eye Institute currently holds clinics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients at Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service in East Perth. Lions Outback Vision visits up to 20 rural and remote communities across Australia twice a year and sees 10,000 patients through its Vision Van and outreach clinics.

The Lions Eye Institute has been committed to saving and improving the sight of Aboriginal Western Australians for almost 50 years. Read more at Lions Eye Institute – A History of Improving Aboriginal Eye Health

¹ The National Eye Health Survey 2016. Centre for Eye Research Australia and Vision 2020 Australia.

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