Cambodia Mission 2017
25 January 2017
Approximately, 28,000 Cambodians go blind each year, with more than half due to cataracts and the rest due to uncorrected vision, glaucoma, corneal scarring and pterygium. 80%-90% of these cases are treatable and preventable. However, with only 38 ophthalmologists for a population of 15 million people and less than 60% of these doing surgery, Cambodia has one of the lowest numbers of ophthalmologists per capita in the world.
In August 2016, a group of Australian volunteers (5 ophthalmologists and 7 optometrists) completed a mission operating in Phnom Penh on 430 Cambodian poor people from all over the country. By having a centralised facility, they were able to use the latest technology (because of stable electricity and clean facilities) and teach the local doctors and medical students. They need teaching and practice, practice, practice.
This model was such a success that the Cambodian Government are providing a campus to set up teaching facilities and a day surgery. This campus will be open in July 2017 and will be able to be used for ophthalmology training programs and a school of optometry will be set up.
The programme is now seeking ophthalmologists to carry out surgery on needy patients, as well as teach ophthalmology residents and local specialists.
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