Dr John Szetu has been with The Foundation since it started delivering programmes in the Pacific in 2001. He currently holds the position of Medical Director, based at the Regional Eye Centre in the Solomon Islands.
Among his myriad other achievements, Dr Szetu (with the support of The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ) established the Pacific Eye Institute in 2006, a training centre for Pacific eye health workers now located in Suva, Fiji. At around the same time he formed the Pacific Eye Care Society (PacEYES) to represent the interests of eye care professionals working in the Pacific Islands region. Dr Szetu also held the position of IAPB Western Pacific Region Co-Chair for the Pacific Islands Sub–Region from 2009–2012.
Dr Szetu had long recognised the importance of training Pacific eye health workers to deliver eye care in their own communities, and has always advocated strongly for formalising ophthalmic training, both of doctors and nurses in the Pacific. He realized that more of both cadres were badly needed to cater for the particular needs of the small but scattered populations across the islands. He has an impressive track record in designing and implementing training courses for eye care nurses and supervising registrars in the Pacific. His successful programmes in training and clinical service in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands are held in high regard throughout the Pacific eye health sector.
The growth of the Pacific Eye Institute reflects the respect that Dr Szetu commands amongst his Pacific Island colleagues as well as those from New Zealand and Australia. He has been able to inspire others to realise that, like him, they can stand on their own feet and provide increasingly high-quality eye health care and leadership for their own communities. Dr Szetu is highly respected by the global eye health community and has inspired others to join the fight against avoidable blindness.
Dr Telaite Biu is the Director of the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji, and lead ophthalmologist for the Pacific Eye Institute and Pacific-wide diabetes eye programme. Diabetes is the third most common cause of visual impairment in Fiji, and Dr Biu and her team provide diabetes eye screening and treatment in central Fiji, and train eye care professionals from around the Pacific in diabetes eye care.
Dr Qalo leads the Pacific outreach team to countries that don’t yet have adequate eye care and the Mobile Eye Clinic team which travels across Fiji. He has performed thousands of sight-saving surgeries.
Dr Ansari is the lead ophthalmologist for our fully-equipped Mobile Eye Clinic. Travelling between Fiji’s two main islands, the Mobile Eye Clinic take eye care to thousands of people who don’t have access to the services they need.
Ms Luoni is the Workforce and Academic Manager and a qualified optometrist. She manages the support programme to our graduate nurses so they can continue to provide quality eye care services throughout the Pacific.
Ms. Avikashni is an Assistant Lecturer working with Fiji National Universtiy. She teaches the nurses programme at Pacific Eye Institute which graduates up to ten eye care nurses per year from around the Pacific.
Ms. Lingam is an Assistant Lecturer working with Fiji National Universtiy. She teaches the nurses programme at Pacific Eye Institute which graduates up to ten eye care nurses per year from around the Pacific.
Dr Tekaroi is the only ophthalmologist in Kiribati. She was instrumental in establishing the eye clinic at Tungaru Central Hospital following her graduation from the Pacific Eye Institute in 2014. More recently Dr Tekaroi has been part of efforts to improve pathways for diabetics to access essential eye care.
Ms Mor is the General Manager at the Modilon Eye Clinic in Papua New Guinea . She’s been with the Foundation for over 10 years helping to end avoidable blindness in Papua New Guinea.
Ms Bare is the Nursing Unit Manager at the Madang Provincial Hospital and employed by the National Department of Health. She's also the Outreach Coordinator in Madang Programme and the Treasurer of the Papua New Guinea Ophthalmic Clinicians Association.
Dr Pahau is the Head of the Ophthalmology Department at the Madang Provincial Hospital and is employed by the National Department of Health. He also leads the Papua New Guinea outreach team to perfrom free eye surgeries across the country.
Ms Gende is the Lead Ophthalmic Clinician and Clinical Educator at the Madang Provincial Hospital. She's also the Vice President of the National Prevention of Blindness Committee and the Secretary of the Papua New Guinea Ophthalmic Clinicians Association.
Dr Posala is the Head of Ophthalmology at the Regional Eye Centre in the Solomon Islands and is employed by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services. He led the charge to establish and develop an electronic patient management system to improve the quality and effectiveness of patient care.
Dr Pikacha leads the national Diabetes Eye Programme in the Solomon Islands. Employed by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services, she is the first female ophthalmologist in her country.
Dr Carole Poloso trained at the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji before returning home to the Solomon Islands to practice as a qualified Ophthalmologist.
Konio is the Clinical Nurse Advisor and Senior OT Nurse at the Regional Eye Centre in Honiara. As a Senior Eye Care Nurse, Konio is responsible for the care of patients in the Eye Clinic, Ward and Operating Theatre. She also supports the management and clinical staff by advising on improvements to processes and procedures within the centre.
Dr Johnson Kasso graduated with his Master of Medicine in Ophthalmology from the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji, at the end of 2018. He is currently the only resident ophthalmologist in Vanuatu.