Thanks to your generous support, in April 2012 we sent Canadian Volunteer Faculty member, Dr. James Whelan, a vitreoretinal expert, aboard the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital to a FedEx sponsored program in Da Nang, Vietnam. Click here to watch video.
Vietnam has achieved significant progress in improving health status in recent years. In terms of blindness prevention and control with the blindness prevalence reduced in the community from 0.63 percent in 2000 to 0.59 percent in 2007. Cataract is the leading cause of avoidable blindness and can be cured with simple, inexpensive surgery. However, as most quality eye care professionals are based in larger cities or urban areas and due to economic difficulties, many people are unable to receive timely access to quality eye care services. Pediatric blindness prevention is a major area of focus in Vietnam, where the leading causes of avoidable blindness among children are cataract, strabismus, uncorrected refractive errors and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a condition that can affect babies who are born prematurely.
Before the end of the year, the Flying Eye Hospital is scheduled to deliver sight-saving support in China, El Salvador, Ethiopia and Zambia.