Vision 2020 Australia’s Global Consortium (Gurrumul)

Vision 2020 Australia’s Global Consortium (Gurrumul)

Globally 285 million people are blind or vision
impaired 80% of global blindness is preventable or
treatable. In 1999 the World Health Organisation and
the International Agency for the Prevention
of Blindness shared a vision. Establishing Vision 2020: The Right to Sight
to work towards the goal of eliminating avoidable
blindness around the world by the year 2020. The Australian Government through the Avoidable
Blindness Initiative and Vision 2020 Australia’s
Global Consortium share that vision for our
neighbors in the Asia Pacific region. Jennifer Gersbeck
In 2008 with funding from the Australian Government’s Avoidable Blindness Initiative, Vision 2020
Australia established Jennifer VO: the Global Consortium. The Consortium
approach has created a platform for collaboration sharing of resources and knowledge in turn
this has created an eye health approach that provides access to specialist expertise, creates
common goals for the greater good, builds capacity of the members and reduces duplication
of programs in-country. Resulting in massive savings to national heath budgets and contributing
towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Since then 14 programs have been implemented
in 7 countries across the Asia Pacific region these programs are strengthening national
health care systems, providing sustainable comprehensive high quality equitable eye care
for the future of the region Adrian voice over;
In Cambodia Global Consortium partners are working on programs focusing on developing
infrastructure and human resources. Takeo eye hospital’s capacity has been increased
and services enhanced. In recognition of the importance of eye health
to the Cambodian Government and its people, Vision Centres have been established at the
regional Kampot Hospital and in Kiri Vong. In these Vision Centres eye tests are carried
out, spectacles are dispensed and referrals are made ensuring that eye health services
are available in some of Cambodia’s most remote areas. Among the many people whose
lives are being transformed is Yath a grandmother from Takeo province Shrayhorn- voice over of Yath granddaughter
My name is Shrayhorn, my grandmother is blind. She remembers my face but cries because she
has never seen my baby brother Heap. I take her hand and lead her around the village
to stop her from falling. She worries because she can’t work in the
fields anymore. I help her gather wood to cook our rice.
She says she is a burden to our family. My father took her to the eye hospital, a
long walk from our village. The doctors took away her blindness and she
could see again. She was so happy to see her grandson for the
first time. She said now she can do things to help herself
and her family. And walk around the village and talk to her
friends like she used to. Dr. Meng On behalf of the Cambodian people
I would like to thank to the Government of Australia through the Avoidable Blindness
Initiative with all the partners that supported and helped to the people of Cambodia so I
would like to thank you a lot. So Arkon Adrian voice over;
An Ling Seng was a general nurse from Kampot Province in Cambodia. He wanted to train as
a Refractionist because he was seeing so much preventable vision loss amongst his people.
His training at the Preah Ang Duong Hospital in Phnom Penh is being funded through the
Avoidable Blindness Initiative and when he finishes he will use his skills to help people
in his province see more clearly. Eight month old baby Sok Koang has been brought
to the hospital from a far away province by his family. His mother Chonny, had noticed
a problem with her baby’s eyes and could see that he was very distressed. Sok Koang
had cataracts and if left untreated could lead to blindness. His cataracts were successfully
removed and after the operation An Ling Seng tested his eyes and made up glasses for him. An Ling Seng;
When I provided the glasses for the child
I could see that he could see he could touch
something that I gave to him I was so happy for his parents I hope his future will be bright Chonny Sok Koang’s mother;
I’d like to say thank you very much to the
government of Australia Dr. Do Seiha
On behalf of the National Program for eye health and myself as the coordinator for eye
care activity in the country, I would like to express my greatest appreciation for the
support of ABI for the eye care system development in this country Adrian voice over;
In Samoa, Global Consortium partners are working through a local NGO to reduce childhood blindness
implementing a school screening program that detects vision impairment as early as possible.
At Puapua Primary school of 11 children vision tested, 2 were
found to have trachoma. Thanks to the Vision screening program, these children can now
be easily recognized and treated. Before this program, the prevalence of avoidable blindness
was significantly higher and many children’s deteriorating eyesight went undetected until
it was too late. Tasi Leo;
I think if Misiuepa was found during the school screening, there is a big chance for him to
recover his vision if we detected earlier Adrian voice over;
By the time, Misiuepa was taken to the Tuasivi eye clinic, Eye Nurse Tasi Leo realized it
was too late to do anything to save his eyesight and he would go blind. Tasi Leo;
There was already damage done to optic nerves on both his eyes so in my opinion as an eye
care specialist there is no eye medical treatment that can be of help for him Adrian voice over;
Misiuepa parents were worried that this meant there would be no future for their son, but
thanks to Australian Government funding, programs are being developed and put in place for those
children whose eyesight is severely impaired and Misiuepa’s future is looking much brighter.
programs fund things like paying for a Teacher’s Aide. Laptop computers are made available
and Braille is taught, so that children like Misiuepa will be able to attend a regular
high school and develop skills and qualifications that will enable them to lead full and productive
lives. Malia Milo, Teacher aide
Im Misiuepa’s teacher aid my role is to help him not only him describing textbooks
and other study materials into Braille also reading the contents of the blackboard whenever
the teacher is using it. To liaise with the family, staff members and students where appropriate
to ensure Misiuepa’s visual impairment is not a barrier to his full inclusion of his
goals and aspirations. Misiuepia
I want to be a teacher who teaches vision impaired students
just like me Si’iva’a Misiuepa’s father;
We thank the Australian Government because
of their help, now that Misiuepa has something
new and a brighter future as he grows up Misiuepa
I want to thank the people of Australia especially a man who taught me Braille and gave me a
good chance to go back to school Fa’aea Mulitalo; Ministry of Education,
Sports and Culture
The Vision screening program that we are been
working on would not have been possible without the support and the assistance of the Australian
Government and the Australian NGO’s Mr. Leoto General Manager, National Health
The two priorities that our Government always
places are education and health so we’d like to re-iterate our acknowledgment and
thank you to the people of Australia for their help Tasi Leo;
I would like to thank the Australian Government for stepping in and helping with the school
screening and with people like Misiuepa (pats him on the back) that assistance was very
much appreciated and I hope the Australia will keep assisting young children
for their future. Adrian voice over;
Results demonstrate that the Global Consortium’s programs are working and are literally transforming
people’s lives. Children who once struggled to see can now go to school, thanks to a pair
of glasses. People who are blind can be supported to lead a better life. Men and women who were
once blinded by cataracts can now see and contribute to their family and community,
enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty Jennifer;
By working to prevent avoidable blindness and improve eye care for people in the Asia
Pacific it is estimated that so over 100 million people can have their vision improved or restored
by 2020. This is an achievable goal and Australia has the expertise and commitment to make this
happen. And there’s quite a few people who are benefitting
from Global Consortium programs that have something to say…. Thank you Australia Credits; Thanks to Chocolate Studios, Melbourne The people of Cambodia and Samoa for sharing
their stories Kimlin Chhun (Khmer) and Holly Williams (English)
voice of Sreyhon, Yath’s Granddaughter Creative Director/ Writer/Producer – Christine
Weller Cinematographer – Marcus Dineen
Location sound/Stills- Paul Williams Editor- Paul Williams, Sutton Grange Films
Colourist- Vincent Taylor Audio Engineer- Marc Judson, Chocolate Studios
Narrator- Adrian Mulraney

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