Every year a small group of eye doctors from Auckland Eye travel to the Cook Islands to provide treatment for residents who are otherwise unable to access life changing eye surgery.
In May 2017, the group included Dr Paul Rosser, Dr Jo Sims and Dr Alison Pereira who donated their time and utilised their personal holidays to make the trip.
Each doctor spent approximately a week each in the Islands, assessing patients, providing treatment and performing surgery for those who needed it.
Normally 60 to 70 patients are seen each trip and Dr Paul Rosser in particular estimates he has carried out more than 1,000 cataract operations during his many visits to the Cook Islands over the last 25 years.
Dr Rosser says "We're the only team that comes and operates on them, once a year. Some patients could be blind in two eyes, some patients are blind in one eye or some patients have just got two quite bad eyes and we'll treat one of their eyes so they can see again."
"It's a huge thing for the people, because it gives them their sight".
Dr Paul Rosser performing cataract surgery
Dr Jo Sims with Dr Te Ariki Faireka