Roading Project Aids Eyesight Restoration in Fiji

 Caption: The cheque presentation by MWH to the pacific Eye Institute in March 2013. (From left to right of the picture) Andrew Bell, the Executive Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ,  Dr John Szetu, the Director of The Pacific Eye Institute and Andrew Caseley, New Zealand Director of MWH Global. Photos: SUPPLIED.

Wellington.,17 October, 2013 – A world leading project to bring about a sustained improvement to Fiji’s national roading network is helping speed-up the process of restoring people’s eyesight.

Outreach programmes led by the Pacific Eye Institute (PEI) have resulted in 173 people in Nadi and Ba having their eyesight restored and eye screening carried out on almost 400 patients in the same areas.

MWH Global made the $10,000 (NZ) donation to The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ earlier this year to help support the outreach work of its PEI in Fiji. PEI is an initiative of The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ and serves as a centre for treatment and training in the fight against avoidable blindness.

The Pacific Eye Institute team assesses a cataract patient during an outreach visit to a Fijian village.

The Pacific Eye Institute team assesses a cataract patient during an outreach visit to a Fijian village.

Andrew Caseley, New Zealand director, MWH said, “Having visited PEI for myself and seen the tremendous work it carries out, MWH is delighted to have been able to be part of this. The PEI team worked up to 12 hours a day in Ba, performing sight-restoring surgery by providing 188 eye screens and removing cataracts for 87 people. To be able to help toward giving people their sight is a huge privilege.”

Close to 80,000 people are needlessly blind in the Pacific and cataracts account for 80 per cent of this enduring problem. The lack of access to quality eye care means that people in remote parts of Fiji suffer with unnecessary blindness.

Andrew Bell, the executive director of The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, expressed gratitude for the donation, but also for the work that MWH is undertaking in Fiji.

“To provide world class eye care to the people of Fiji at no cost means we need generous corporate sponsors likes MWH,” said Bell.  “But much of our work is about access, transport and logistics; getting the right doctors to the right place with the right equipment. The on-going improvement to the road network in Fiji by the Fiji Government and assisted by MWH has undoubtedly helped our team reach new parts of the country and restore sight to the people who need it most.”

In January 2012, MWH Global was awarded a five year contract by the Fiji Government to assist it in establishing the new Fiji Roads Authority (FRA), and to build and maintain the country’s 10,000 kilometers of roads, its 1000 bridges and 44 jetties.

In the next few years a major reseal and rehabilitation programme is to be implemented across Fiji’s entire road network together with the replacement of unsafe bridges and improvements to traffic signals and streetlights.


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