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UD Prime Mover brings specialty eye care to remote Queensland

St John's in QLD is using a powerful UD truck as a mobile ophthalmology clinic to deliver life-changing care to remote residents.

A first of its kind St John’s Ambulance Eye Van is about to hit the streets of Bundaberg in Queensland as part of a partnership with UD Trucks.

The van serves as a mobile ophthalmology clinic, loaded with the latest equipment and designed offer patients a comfortable experience.

It travels to rural and remote First Nations communities across Queensland helping to bring services to those in need and to identify and cure conditions such as diabetic retinopathy.

St John Ambulance Queensland’s general manager of Opthalmic Programs, Lyndall De Marco, says the program is a critical service for these communities.

“Our sight-saving program reduces preventable blindness through our mobile ophthalmic treatment facility,” De Marco says.


“The St John Eye Van travels to rural and remote First Nations communities across Queensland, making it possible for more ophthalmologists to bring their expertise to people that are marginalised due to distance and access.”

Those diagnosed with diabetes are three times more likely to suffer from diabetic retinopathy, and 94 per cent of identified cases are curable or treatable when diagnosed early.

“Alarmingly, one in three diagnosed individuals will also experience vision loss, which, if detected in the early stages, can be prevented, or treated in 94 per cent of cases,” De Marco says.

Indigenous Wellbeing Centre CEO Wayne Mulvany says the service had previously help about 400 patients when it operated from 2016 to 2018.

“Services like this are incredibly important for our community,” Mulvany says.

“This service provides patients access to an Ophthalmologist, Optometrist, and Orthoptist to reduce the risk of blindness from sight-threatening conditions like Diabetic Retinopathy.

First Nations people can also be at greater risk of developing Type I and Type II Diabetes, and we know diabetes can be a silent killer.”

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UD Trucks Australia vice-president Lauren Pulitano says the company is proud to be able to support St John Ambulance in its endeavours, particularly as the organisation celebrates its 140th year of service to the community.

“The Eye Van is a true testament to St John’s dedication to improving quality of life and to see this impact is very special,” Pulitano says.

“At UD Trucks, our purpose is Better Life, and we are proud to be a partner of St John and the Eye Van and to have our UD Quon GK 4×2 prime mover powering the clinic across Queensland, allowing St John’s incredible team to deliver life-changing ophthalmology services to rural and remote communities that need it most.” 

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