“Many are reluctant to seek help”: Port Hedland’s blind support new report
A blind South Hedland man has thrown his support behind a peak body’s report to improve indigenous eye health.
The Strong Eyes, Strong Communities plan has been launched by Perth-based Vision 2020 Australia to prevent avoidable blindness among indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders.
The report made 24 recommendations and identified the need for $85 million in funding from State, Territory and Federal governments.
The plan would involve the Federal Government, service providers and community bodies and would focus on an expansion of regional health services including a new eye health centre in the North West.
Local David Moses-Martin said he developed eye problems when he was involved in a brawl at school, which caused the retina in both his eyes to start to detach, and drinking caused his eyes to deteriorate further.
Mr Moses-Martin said he stopped drinking and smoking 27 years ago but his community liked alcohol, which had caused their eyesight to rapidly deteriorate.
“Many are reluctant to seek help and I am hoping this plan might change that, it will be good for them and the next generation,” he said.
VisAbility executive manager client services Kary Macliver said the initiative targets the delivery of eye care to those who need it most.
“We want the gap between health outcomes in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians to be significantly reduced, so we’re wholeheartedly behind this campaign,” she said.
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