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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

PNG Workers and Families to Benefit from New Healthcare Initiative

A new healthcare initiative has been launched to screen workers and their family members for a range of undiagnosed vision conditions.

Hundreds of PNG nationals employed on the Star Mountain Plaza development in Port Moresby will receive free screening from optometrists.

According to the latest research, 29 per cent of locals over 50 are visually impaired and 9 per cent clinically blind. Refractive error and cataracts were the most common causes of vision impairment in the eyes examined in the survey.

Star Mountain Plaza is one of the country’s largest property developments and will host leaders from around the world at the 2018 APEC conference.

The company which provides all staff with Workers Compensation Insurance, free meals and bottled water as well as electrolyte supplements to help prevent dehydration, will now expand its employee health programme to include vision testing.

Augustine Mano says Star Mountain has worked hard to set an example to how all construction project in PNG should operate, this type of free healthcare benefit is unusual for a PNG workplace but it is a programme he wants to see expanded.

“One of our key focuses has been creating a safe workplace for our team but at the same time we recognise the benefits of offering the programme to family members who may need treatment.”

An onsite screening room with optometrists from the Pacific International hospital will screen hundreds of employees and their nominated family members which could include; children, wives, or even grandparents.

“We know access to eyecare is very much lacking in our country and this initiative will allow Star Mountain Plaza employees and their families to secure medical treatment which they might not otherwise have access to,” Mr Mano says.

Anyone requiring prescription glasses or lenses will be provided with these and will wear them under safety glasses.

Col. Sandeep S. Shaligram, CEO of Pacific International Hospital says that emerging nations often have a challenges with meeting the eye health needs of their population as funding for specialists can be hard to find.

“We know from past surveys that a significant proportion of the population have an undiagnosed vision condition of some sort. At the same time we also know around 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured.”

“I know our team of optometrists are looking forward to being involved in this community based initiative and treating any vision conditions which are diagnosed through the screening programme,” Col. Shaligram says.

Mano says the testing will begin this month and the company hopes to expand the programme once the results of the initial screenings are reviewed.

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 10:12 PM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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