New vision for Hela hospital staff

Something as simple as a pair of glasses can greatly improve patient care and safety.

The Hela Provincial Health Authority (HPHA) has partnered with the Oil Search Foundation (OSF) and a specialist eye team from Pacific International Hospital (PIH), based in Port Moresby, to conduct vision and cataract screening for HPHA healthcare staff.

With an aging staff population and limited access to specialist services in Hela, it became apparent that many staff were struggling with their vision, said acting CEO Freda Makanda. “Addressing this problem will not only provide a better quality of life for those affected but also improve patient care by ensuring staff can read medical charts and other documents,” she said.

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In collaboration with OSF and PIH’s Laila Foundation ophthalmologist Dr Amyna Sultan and optometrist Mainak Mondal, a three-day clinic was conducted with the HPHA eye nurse Andrew Piwa.

The PIH team brought all the required equipment, including glasses and medications, and a temporary space was established to conduct the assessments.

The eye team saw over 100 staff and over half of these were recommended reading glasses.

Nurse Lyn Kiak was delighted with her glasses, noting ‘everything is very clear when I am reading; the eye doctor came at a very good time for me’.

Col Sandeep Shaligram, CEO of PIH, said the clinic was a great success that demonstrated how a public-private partnership can provide essential healthcare in remote locations.

The team also investigated the potential for future specialist support to the greater community of Hela.

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