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In November 2020 SOVS was the recipient of one of only four Seed Grants awarded by the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences in 2020. The $50,000 grant will support a pilot study of the National Eye Health Survey (NEHS) to be conducted in 2021.

The NEHS will provide Aotearoa’s first estimates of the prevalence of vision impairment and its main causes, as well as access to eye care services for three distinct groups: 1) Māori, 2) Pacific People, 3) other New Zealanders.  This information is essential to inform equitable eye health policy formulation and service delivery planning.

The NEHS will be led by Jacqui Ramke and involve SOVS staff Jo Black and Jaymie Rogers, as well as co-investigators in the Schools of Population Health and Medicine and community partners. In 2021 Rajneeta Saraf joined the school as a research fellow to work on the project as well as the data collection team for the pilot.

The pilot will be conducted in Auckland in mid-2021 and will aim to recruit 1,000 people by visiting them door to door. We will measure distance and near vision and ask a small number of questions. The results of this pilot will inform how many people the NEHS will need to recruit in our three population groups, as well as help us to refine the recruitment process to maximise participation. If participants of the pilot are identified with vision impairment, we will arrange eye examinations.

We will provide regular updates on this exciting project, but please feel free to get in touch if you have a particular interest in the survey: