Vietnam Flying Eye Hospital Project 2023

Orbis’s Flying Eye Hospital returned to Can Tho, Vietnam in May for our first in-person surgical project on board the aircraft since the beginning of the pandemic – and we’re thrilled with the outcome of this extraordinary program!

During our latest Flying Eye Hospital project, over 200 eye care professionals from across Vietnam received critical training in delivering quality eye care services to their local communities. Nearly 150 local children and adults received eye screenings and clinical consultations, while 55 patients received the sight-saving surgery or treatment they needed to restore their vision!

Local partners and Orbis staff pose for a team photo outside the Flying Eye Hospital.

Beginning with simulation training and workshops during the first week and following with hands-on training in the second and third weeks, local eye teams strengthened their sight-saving skills by training alongside the Orbis team. Local partners were able to improve their skills and knowledge, allowing them to provide better care to their communities on subspecialties such as cataract, oculoplastics, and strabismus for children, and glaucoma and medical retina for adults.

As Orbis strives to reduce visual impairment and blindness among children around the world, a key focus of the Can Tho Flying Eye Hospital project was training local teams to provide quality ophthalmic care to children.

The eye care trainings included a special pediatric ophthalmology workshop that trained local teams in examination and diagnosis of pediatric patients – which included a hands-on clinical examination with young patients. These workshops and trainings were appreciated by local partners, as many had never examined pediatric patients previously!

Dr. Le Thi Mong Kieu Strengthened Her Skills on Board the Plane

One participant of the training program was Dr. Le Thi Mong Kieu, an ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) specialist at Can Tho Children’s Hospital. As a past participant in Flying Eye Hospital hands-on training projects in 2017 and 2020, Dr. Kieu was excited to train with Orbis once again and continue to build her skills in pediatric eye care to help serve local patients in her community.

Dr. Kieu broadened her knowledge and skills of strabismus treatment and medical retina procedures training with Orbis Volunteer Faculty members, Dr. Timothy Lai and Dr. Grace Prakalapakorn, in both simulation and hands-on training sessions.

And though the Flying Eye Hospital project has ended, Dr. Kieu continues to receive critical eye care knowledge from Orbis when she uses Cybersight – our award-winning telehealth and e-learning platform. Dr. Kieu refers to Cybersight frequently to access information about pediatric eye care and to connect with other ROP specialists around the world.

Kiet's Parents Are Grateful to Orbis Supporters

On board the Flying Eye Hospital, local partners trained with the Orbis team to bring healthy vision to adults and children from around Vietnam, ultimately restoring the sight of 55 patients through treatment or surgery. This includes children like Kiet, a twelve-year-old boy from Truongthang, about an hour away from Can Tho.

Kiet, like many kids, loves playing sports and studying mathematics, but struggled from a cataract in his left eye which gave him blurry vision and made it difficult for him to focus when at school. His mother, Phuong, told us that he would often have to hide his eyes from light coming from outside to see things better inside the classroom.

Kiet received vision-restoring surgery on board the Flying Eye Hospital in May.

Kiet’s case was a rare one for Orbis. We met and treated him in 2017 at the last Flying Eye Hospital program in the area, when he had a cataract in his right eye. And on board the aircraft during this visit, Kiet received the surgery he needed to remove the cataract in his left eye. Now his sight is fully restored in both eyes … and a brighter future lies ahead for him!

Kiet’s mother, Phuong, believes that it is important for her son to have healthy vision as he grows up and works towards achieving his dreams. She holds immense gratitude to the Orbis team and its caring supporters. Phuong shared with us: “I would like to say thank you to all of the Orbis staff and supporters who have donated to help these children in Vietnam – like my son – to have healthy and better vision. And I hope more and more people and children will have the opportunity to have the healthy vision like my son.”

Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again