Eye Health

Eye Health Program

AHCWA has an Eye Health Program Coordinator who can deliver training to Aboriginal Health Workers and Practitioners about all things eyes! The training aims to help increase knowledge around eye health and build the confidence of AHW and AHP to complete eye assessments.

The remoteness of many of our communities contributes to reduced access to specialist services and missed opportunities to identify vision disorders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Many common eye conditions are gradual and can be treated to reduce or stop blindness if identified early.

AHCWA’s eye health program has been developed to help provide training to those clinicians at the forefront of patient assessments and education.


Eyes are an important organ that are part of our key senses. If injury or illness occurs and are left untreated or are incorrectly diagnosed, irreversible blindness can occur and can have a significant impact on activities of daily living.

Common eye conditions that affect Aboriginal people include

Refractory Error – Eye disorder causing blurred vision. Easily corrected with glasses

Diabetic retinopathy – Damage to the tiny blood vessels in the retina causing blindness. Related to long term, uncontrolled diabetes

Cataracts – Clouding of the lens of the eye. Light is unable to pass through to the retina causing vision changes

Glaucoma – Gradual and irreversible vision loss due to damage to the optic nerve. Progression can be slowed with early detection

Trachoma/Trichiasis – Infection of the eye. Too many episodes of trachoma can lead to trichiasis which can cause blindness


The training program can be catered to the service depending on need. Training can be a short session catered to a specific condition of interest to a full day training.

The program includes;

  • Anatomy and physiology of the eye
  • Why eye health is important
  • Common conditions of the eye
  • Causes of acute and chronic eye conditions
  • How to complete eye assessments
  • How to use eye assessment equipment
  • When a referral to a specialist is required and how to complete

This course is a mixture of theoretical and practical learning


Training can be provided at the AHCWA head office in Perth, or the Eye Health Program Coordinator can attend member services to provide training.


Available to clinicians from AHCWA member services

Further information

Brien Holden Vision Institute

First Nations Eye Health Alliance

Indigenous Eye Health Unit

Lions Eye Institute

Lions Outback Vision