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International charitable organisation, OneSight, has launched the OneVision Indigenous eye health program, which aims to address the significant gap in Indigenous eye health. OneSight is a non profit foundation of Luxottica, the world's largest eyewear and eye care company and owner of brands including OPSM and Sunglass Hut.
The program aims to educate Indigenous communities about the importance of eye health and improve access to services. Communities will receive free eye care education and eye screenings, as well as free eyewear, as required.
The first OneSight clinic was held in Mount Isa, in late February 2012, in conjunction with the National Rugby League (NRL) One community ambassador program, Grass to class clinics. A second clinic will run at Doomadgee in May 2012 in far north Queensland following community consultation to ensure the program is meeting the needs of Indigenous communities.
Chris Beer, CEO of Luxottica, said, 'We are excited to launch the OneVision program this year and the team are proud to be working with the Indigenous community in Mount Isa. We will work closely with local residents to develop the program and eye care clinics to ensure we are providing the most effective care.'
'OneVision aims to improve the sight of many Indigenous Australians and we look forward to rolling the program out in other Indigenous communities across Australia in the future.'
'Our focus is to develop a long-term eye health management program in each of the Aboriginal communities we serve and have a sustainable impact,' he added.
OneSight launched the initiative to address the gap in Indigenous health highlighted in the Roadmap to close the gap for vision - a recent report prepared by Professor Hugh Taylor of the Indigenous Eye Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne. The report highlights the lack of access to optometry services as a significant factor contributing to poor Indigenous eye health in these remote communities, something OneSight's program aims to change.
'One in three Indigenous adults have never had an eye exam due to a lack of access to services in remote Australia and 94 per cent of vision loss experienced in Indigenous communities is preventable. OneSight Foundation's program is exactly what is needed to begin closing the gap in Indigenous eye health,' Professor Taylor said.
Source: mivision news