A female optometrist tests the refractive error of a female patient

Community Eye Health

Working towards equity

We want everyone living in Aotearoa to have good eye health. Good eye health supports overall health and wellbeing and enables participation with whānau, in the community, at school and at work.

Our work aims to identify ways to deliver more accessible and equitable eye health services and improve eye health in Aotearoa, particularly for under-served communities

We are committed to Māori health advancement and are guided by Māori health researchers and service providers in the planning and implementation of our research programme.

Across all our activities, we value opportunities to work with communities and other stakeholders who are interested in achieving equity in eye health in Aotearoa.

Our work falls under two broad areas:

    • Improving knowledge and understanding of eye health in Aotearoa
    • Developing and testing solutions to improve access to eye health services

Details of these projects can be found below.

Associate Professor Matire Harwood shares some thoughts on eye health services in Aotearoa

Understanding eye health in Aotearoa

Two female recruiters walk down a street

Population-based eye health survey: In July 2021, we began a pilot population-based survey of adults in three Auckland suburbs (Glen Innes, Panmure and Ōrākei) to inform planning for a larger population-based survey in 2023. Read more…

A female optometrist at a slit lamp with a patient

Exploring differential access to eye health services: Jaymie Rogers is an optometrist, Professional Teaching Fellow and PhD candidate at SOVS. Her PhD uses different methods to draw a picture of access to eye care in Aotearoa.  Read more…

Auckland School Screening Programme: Each year, BOptom students screen school children in the Auckland region for vision issues. A valuable training opportunity for students, the screening service ensures students who need eye care are identified for follow-up. Details available soon…

eye close up - photo by Swapnil Potdar on Unsplash

Diabetes eye health services: Several projects are underway to increase our understanding of diabetes eye health services – we are analysing national screening and treatment data, assessing screening attendance in Counties Manukau and examining diabetes eye care pathways to understand disconnection from treatment. Read more…

Improving access to eye health services in Aotearoa

A van with Aotearoa Vison Bus and pictures of smiling people in a clinic

Vision Bus Aotearoa: Launched in June 2022, a mobile full-service eye clinic aims to make eye care services more accessible to a range of historically under-served communities. Read more…

A woman does the thumbs up while wearing a new pair of spectacles

Community Spectacle Scheme: Established in 2021 to support SOVS Community Eye Health teaching and research activities, the Scheme is part of a wider programme to make eye care more accessible to all New Zealanders.  Read more…

Te Whare Piringa - eye testing at a community centre

Improving equitable access to diabetes eye services: We have received HRC funding (2020-23) to explore how diabetes eye care services can be more accessible and responsive in Auckland and Counties Manukau.  Read more…

geometric map of the world

Esablishing an evidence base: While we have unique challenges in Aotearoa, we recognise we can learn from evaluating eye health services in other countries. Read more…