Vietnam

There are 400,000 adults and 23,000 children in Vietnam who are blind. While blindness in Vietnam has decreased over the last decade, the country continues to struggle with providing eye care, especially in rural areas. Quality of care, training and human resources still remain problematic, and overall awareness of how to prevent blindness is low.

In school, Hoa’s classmates mocked the appearance of her eyes, calling her “squinter”. Her schoolwork suffered because she couldn’t see clearly. See how Orbis helped to make Hoa’s magic wish come true.

Success in Vietnam

We began collaborating with Vietnam’s ophthalmic communities through hospital-based projects in 1996. A permanent office was established in Hanoi in 2003. 

Orbis has been providing the highest level of expertise to support the development of eye care services and blindness prevention in Vietnam – especially in the areas of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), pediatric and cataract services and in establishing an eye bank.

KEY SUCCESSES:

  • Orbis helped establish Vietnam’s first national eye bank.
  • We funded the first wet lab in Vietnam where ophthalmologists can practice surgical procedures.
  • We initiated the development of the first working group in Vietnam on VISION 2020 — a global effort to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020.
  • We strengthened Vietnam's capacity to address childhood blindness by setting up the first pediatric eye care networks of skilled health personnel.

What we're doing next

Orbis plans to address the constraints of eye care system in Vietnam through three key strategies: expanding quality pediatric eye care services in more regions across the country; strengthening human resources for eye health; and increasing the availability of eye care services for diabetic patients.

Our work includes developing models to ensure quality of care and quality of human resources that can be replicated and maintained by the government. 

The first model reflecting international standards for diabetic retinopathy – which poses a risk to four million people with diabetes in Vietnam – is in the pilot stage and requires further resources to be replicated nationwide.

Fighting Childhood Blindness in Vietnam

May 19, 2017

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