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ICEE Sunnies for Sight Day - 26 Feb 2010 PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 05 February 2010

ICEE Sunnies for Sight Day, an initiative of the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE), is an annual event designed for school teachers who want to teach their students about vision, eye care and how kids can join the fight against avoidable blindness.

ICEE invites teachers and children from early learning centres, primary and secondary schools across Australia to participate in ICEE Sunnies for Sight Day.

More info can be found at: www.sunniesforsight.org

 
Haircut more important for kids than eye test PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 28 January 2010

Australian parents believe having their child's hair cut is more important than an eye test in the lead-up to starting school, a survey shows.

When quizzed by eyecare provider OPSM, one in five mums and dads revealed they had never had their child's eyes tested. But the company says along with allergies and asthma, eye disorders are the most common long-term health problems experienced by youngsters.

The research also found just three per cent of respondents said an eye test was at the top of their back to school list, while seven per cent viewed a new haircut as the number one priority. And eight per cent of the 631 people surveyed considered good vision as having the biggest impact on their child's ability to do well in class.

 
Fred Hollows Foundation restores sight in Rwanda PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 22 January 2010

The Fred Hollows Foundation recently screened 2726 patients for cataract blindness in Rwanda and restored sight to 73.

The majority of these screenings took place at Gisenyi Eye Clinic, which is The Foundation’s base for activities in Rwanda near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Outreach screenings also took place at health centres in the Rubavu District, as well as in the remote districts of Ngororero and Nyabihu.

The Foundation has been working in Rwanda since 2006 - to enhance the capacity of eye health personnel and to deliver and manage eye health services.

Today, The Foundation is continuing to build infrastructure in Rwanda and provide clinics with the equipment necessary to bring adequate eye care services to some of the country’s most disadvantaged regions. Construction recently began on a new eye clinic in the Ngororero District of Rwanda which, once completed, will service a population of around 318,000 people.

 
Australian CRC Leads Revolution in Vision Care PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 24 December 2009

A revolution in the vision care industry is set to take place with the extension of the Vision CRC for a further five years. The announcement of the AU$22 million extension will make the CRC one of the great success stories in the CRC program consolidating Australia’s position as a world leader in vision research and technology.

The five-year extension of the Vision CRC presents not only an opportunity to deliver revolutionary products with the capability to solve vision problems for billions but is also an important long-term investment in Australia’s capacity in breakthrough research and our economic future.

The extended Vision CRC will conduct four separate programs to deliver a range of benefits for Australia and the world in the areas of vision correction, understanding of ocular health and vision care delivery to indigenous Australians and developing communities worldwide.

It is estimated that the number of people affected by myopia (short-sightedness) in the world will grow from 1.6 billion now to a staggering 2.5 billion by 2020. It affects 3.5 million Australians, often occurring in childhood, meaning a lifelong need for eye care, and increases the risk of developing serious vision threatening conditions. The Anti-Myopia Program will consolidate Australia’s position as a global research and development centre for understanding and providing products for the control of myopia.

The Ocular Comfort Program is designed to produce products that optimise the comfort of people when they wear contact lenses. Research undertaken by Vision CRC and its predecessor, CRC for Eye Research and Technology, has successfully delivered contact lenses that provide the cornea with all the necessary oxygen it requires to be healthy.  More than a quarter of all contact lenses sold in the world today are silicone hydrogel lenses, which had their genesis in Australia through the CRC program partnership with CIBA VISION.

The extension’s third program, NuVision, is developing revolutionary surgical technologies to correct a range of refractive conditions, including presbyopia. In Australia, 6.7 million people have presbyopia. Globally, there are more than 1 billion, a number that is rapidly growing with the ageing population. Presbyopia is a natural part of the ageing process that occurs when the eye’s lens loses its flexibility and its ability to focus and affects almost all people by the age of 45. This typically requires correction by either contact lenses or spectacles for us to be able to read effectively.

The final program of this extension, Vision Care Delivery, aims to develop a new framework that will lead to the provision of equitable, accessible and sustainable primary eye care to Aboriginal Australians. Some 100 Aboriginal health workers will be trained in basic eye care, contributing to increased workforce participation and a reduction in health care and social costs due to improved vision. The creation of a successful service care delivery model can also assist government in Aboriginal health policy development and has potential for use as a model for workforce development in other health sectors.

 
Fred Hollows Foundation loses $2m in investment plan PDF
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Australian News
Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Fred Hollows Foundation lost more than $2 million with the investment bank Goldman Sachs JBWere last year, as the Australian head office of the international charity pursued an ambitious growth strategy that some of its international board members had opposed. The sum is equal to the Australian Government's entire contribution to the foundation over the same period.

Just over $271,000 was lost outright and a further $1.8 million was stripped from the value of the charity's investments as a result of the financial crisis, although much of this could be recovered when the investment is revalued.

 
Bionic eye in sight thanks to $42 million PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Leading Australian researchers have welcomed an announcement today by the Australian Government of $42M in funding for the development of a bionic eye capable of restoring vision to the blind.

Bionic Vision Australia is a consortium including the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales, the Bionic Ear Institute, the Centre for Eye Research Australia and NICTA. The project is also supported by researchers from the Australian National University and the University of Western Sydney.

Bionic Vision Australia Chairman, Professor Emeritus David Penington AC says the consortium is honoured to have been selected by the Australian Research Council for this funding.
 
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