SOVS former student Erna Takazawa is Samoa’s sole optometrist. The 29-year-old was named the University of Auckland 2017 Young Alumna of the Year for her work developing optometry in Samoa and for helping people with sight issues in the Pacific.
Following a recent review of our clinic equipment we contacted Erna in Samoa who was delighted to accept our offer of two slit lamps (a device used for examining the interior of the eye) and a visual field analyser machine.
One of the slit lamps was taken to Lalomanu where it was desperately needed. It’s being used at the health centre by Registered Nurse Molesi Folasaitu. Molesi has been trained in eye care and received his Postgraduate Diploma in Eye Care (PGDEC) from the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji. He’s the only eye care person for that side of the island unless patients can travel to Apia where main hospital is. However, due to the long traveling distance it can be easier for them to seek eye care at Lalomanu Health centre.
The other equipment will be installed at suitable locations shortly.