News

Burnet teams up with Fred Hollows Foundation

Tracy Parish

01 October, 2012

International Elders’ Day 1 October 2012

As the proportion of older people in Asia continues to rise dramatically, there is now a pressing need to integrate eye health with general health services.

The Fred Hollows Foundation is collaborating with the Burnet Institute in a research program, ‘Better Vision and Healthy Ageing’, to develop and evaluate innovative and integrated strategies to address eye health for older people in low income countries.

Older people contribute greatly to their families and communities, but this is often undermined by illness and disability including impaired eyesight - yet treatment is often simple and inexpensive.

Over the next three years the Burnet Institute will collaborate with government and non-government organisations (NGOs) in Sri Lanka to learn lessons about how to strengthen systems to improve vision, health and wellbeing.

The program will target increased use of quality eye health care, prevention of vision problems, peer education for health promotion and greater social participation for poor elders.

Since 2005, the Burnet Institute has collaborated with the PALM Foundation, a local Sri Lankan community development NGO, in a project that aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of elders in the tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya district in Sri Lanka.

The successful strategy of establishing Elders’ Clubs has enabled easier access to eye health screening, health care services, and opportunities for health promotion, including peer education.

Research undertaken during the project showed a considerable unmet need for cataract surgery and correction of refractive errors with spectacles.

The Fred Hollows Foundation is inspired by work of the late Professor Fred Hollows whose vision was for a world where no one is needlessly blind. Since 1992, The Foundation has restored the sight of well over one million people, working in more than 38 countries around the world.

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Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Tracy Parish

Executive General Manager, Marketing and Communications

Telephone

+61385062321

Email

tracy.parish@burnet.edu.au

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