6 May 2009

NZ pumps millions into Pacific eye health project

4:04 pm on 6 May 2009

New Zealand is giving $5.6 million to a trans-Tasman project to improve eye health in the Pacific.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Murray McCully says there are an estimated 80,000 blind people and a further 250,000 with impaired vision in the Pacific.

Up to 75% of blindness is preventable.

Mr McCully says the funding will allow the Fred Hollows Foundation to train and equip at least 45 eye nurses and eight eye doctors throughout the Pacific and in East Timor over the next three years.

The Australian government is contributing $11.2 million to the project.