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What have you been up to since our last catch up?
I’ve had a busy few years of studying, being a first time mum and doing a volunteer mission in Samoa.
Although Samoa attracts many tourists to its paradise beaches, it remains on the United Nations list of least developed nations. The situation for eye care is poor outside the capital of Apia, especially on Savai’i where there is only one resident GP for a population of 60 000 and no optometrist or ophthalmologist! The mission allowed me the opportunity to experience a new culture beyond my normal travels. Ultimately though I found it was great to regain some perspective and to give something back.
Did the donated glasses come in handy?
Yes, absolutely! I was impressed with the quality of new and preloved spectacles we were able to prescribe so thank you to all who donated, they were very much appreciated!
Is it a different type of Optometry to New Zealand?
It was certainly a different type of Optometry than we are used to in NZ – you can’t be too particular and you need to be adaptable and prepared to compromise. The clinics were packed full of pathology. There were injuries aplenty from cricket balls, tree branches, nails and fishing hooks. The pain tolerance of the Samoans was incredible!
You’ve also been busy studying?
Yes I recently completed the Australian College of Optometry Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics which allows me to prescribe medication for eye infections, inflammations or allergies. Volunteering in Samoa was the perfect opportunity to put my new therapeutic skills to use.
It’s obviously been a busy couple of years for you. What would you say has been the biggest highlight?
Without doubt delivering Lewis, my first child, one year ago at home on my own! It was a rather rare thirty minute precipitate delivery. The events of the day are a bit of a blur but suffice to say I’m ready for anything now!
Germaine Joblin qualified as an optometrist almost 20 years ago. She graduated with honours from the University of New South Wales in 1999. She worked in Australia and spent time as a teaching supervisor at the School of Optometry at the UNSW. She has been an integral part of the Nicholls Optometrists team since she first arrived in New Zealand in 2005. Germaine has taken part in volunteer vision aid projects in Fiji, Nepal, Tanzania, Mongolia and more recently Samoa.
Phone 479 2316 to book your next eye exam with one of our optometrists or call in to 72 Clyde Road, Corner Clyde and Bute Roads, Browns Bay.
Channel Magazine: Issue 79 August 2017