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The Queensland Government has pledged $5 million to fund a project aimed at treating and preventing avoidable blindness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

An 18-metre van equipped with state of the art ophthalmic equipment will travel to nine regional hubs where local and visiting eye specialists will treat indigenous communities.

The van will commence a tour of Queensland in February 2014, visiting Mount Isa, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Morayfield, Toowoomba and Charleville.

Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the project would provide a comprehensive screening program to identify at-risk patients and screen for diabetic eye disease.

This project supports the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust’s objective to end avoidable blindness by 2020.

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