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New director for eye institute

Samuel Berenyi
Friday, January 24, 2014

DOCTOR Biu Sikivou has been appointed the new acting director of the Pacific Eye Institute (PEI) in Suva.

Dr Sikivou has been working in the field of ophthalmology for the past 25 years, at the CWM Hospital, in private practice and for the institute, a Fred Hollows Foundation initiative.

The institute was founded in the Solomon Islands and moved to Fiji in 2007.

In 2012 the diabetes eyes services opened at the Suva clinic.

Dr Sikivou will hold the position until September when the new director will arrive from New Zealand.

Her speciality is in the areas of training and diabetic retinopathy.

This is a disease caused by diabetes and causes damage to the back of the eye, which can lead to vision impairment or blindness. Early detection through screening can prevent the irreversible effects of vision loss.

"The needs for the Pacific are quite high in terms of eye health manpower, but we are starting from scratch, so at least we are starting something," said Dr Sikivou.

"The main aim is to train eye health professional for the Pacific.

"So far we've trained 60 eye health nurses (since 2012), as for the doctors we've trained three in a qualified master of medicine of ophthalmology, this year we are training seven."

Next year will produce a further three graduates from Fiji.