ALL CHILDREN ARE
PRECIOUS AND DESERVE
QUALITY EYE CARE
THE TREATMENT of eye conditions Vietnam, there is still a lack of eye care
services for children in rural districts.
adults. Children’s eyes are not just
smaller, but also require highly So much has been achieved in just a
specialized surgical, nursing and quarter century with regards to eye
anesthesia techniques. care, so imagine what the landscape
will look like in another 25 years –
progress over the past 25 years to avoidable blindness eradicated in
address avoidable blindness in Vietnam? Certainly! The children
PHONG IS EIGHT YEARS OLD and During an Orbis Hospital-based training
lives in Binh Dinh with his parents program in Vietnam this past March, Phong
and younger brother. When Phong was selected as a surgical teaching case.
was six, he injured his left eye when
he accidentally ran into a metal hook, Prepped for surgery by UK-based
resulting in traumatic strabismus. For anesthesiologist, Dr. Andrew Choyce, and
two years, he could see clearly only by watched by our sight-saving star, Mr. Jason
twisting his head sideways to vertically Chan, Phong’s operation was a complete
realign the images he was seeing. success. Under the guidance of Ireland’s
Phong’s mother told us how he used to Dr. Brosnahan, the eye care team in
be a very active and engaged little boy. Vietnam was able to strengthen and move
But after the accident, he became very the muscles to properly realign Phong’s left
shy and withdrawn, causing distress for eye. Once out of the operating room, both
his mother and the rest of his family. he and his mother were smiling again.
DR. BRIAN LEONARD
DR. BRIAN LEONARD, a Retina I travelled on our current Flying Eye
Specialist at the Ottawa Eye Institute Hospital to Vietnam.
with over 50 years of experience, is the
longest-serving member of the Orbis It was my fourth visit to the country,
Volunteer Faculty. and one of my most special. The eye care
professionals in Vietnam are a joy to
in February 1984, travelling with my dear train, so receptive to knowledge and eager
friend, Dr. Garth Taylor, on board the very to serve their communities. I would like to
thank Orbis’s donors who make our work
Since then, I have been on 72 sight-saving possible and ask them to continue making
programs, the last one being in 2017 when
A CONDITION AFFECTING THE WORLD’S
ACROSS THE DEVELOPING WORLD, premature babies. The disorder, which
advances in medical technology rae usually develops in both eyes, is one of
enabling more premature infants the most common causes of sight los
to survive. However, an unintended in children and can lead to lieflong vision
consequence is that many are at risk impairment and blindnes.s
of blindness caused by ertinopathy of
prematurity (ROP). Early diagnosis of damage from ROP
is vitally important, and if left undiagnose, d
ROP is a potentially blinding eye can be progressive and can lead to
disease that occurs when the retina total blindness.
WHAT ORBIS IS DOING TO COMBAT
ROP IN VIETNAM
Orbis has been supporting and with Orbis’s continued support,
the development of eye care services began teaching their colleagues how to
and blindness prevention in Vietnam – screen for and treat ROP.
especially in the area of ROP.
Over the next decade, in partnership
In Vietnam, the disease accounts for more with the Ministry of Health, Orbis
than 30% of blindness in children under expanded Vietnam’s capacity to screen
10 years old – a ratio that would have for the disease throughout the country.
been much higher were it not for Orbis. A training curriculum was created and
taught across Vietnam, focusing on the
A comprehensive approach was launched screening of ROP. Orbis also established
in 1997 to tackle this epidemic in eight eye care centres specializing in
Vietnam. During an Orbis training treating the disease.
program at the National Institute of
This resulted in eye care professionals in
neonatal ward. Vietnam who are now able to identify and
treat ROP, a remarkable achievement in
In the late 1990s, Vietnamese doctors just 22 years!
were initially sponsored by Orbis for
fellowship training in the United States.
These doctors then returned to Vietnam,
WHAT IS STRABISMUS?
AND WHY IT NEEDS TO BE TREATED
COMMONLY KNOWN as crossed
eyes, Strabismus per vents a person
from aligning both eyes simultaneousyl .
Strabismus in children will not go
away on its own, making medical
If present during a large part of
childhood, it may result in amblyopia,
causing a loss of depth pecreption.
If onset is during adulthood, it is moer
likely to result in double vision.
JASON CHAN 先生
I met nine-year-old Phuong and her Phuong was given a pair of glasses and
mother, Lan. Lan was told to bring her back when she
When Phuong was three months
old, relatives began telling Lan that When Phuong was eight, Lan brought her
her baby’s eyes were crossed. When to a screening where teachers, trained by
Phuong turned three, Lan sought Orbis, tested children for eye conditions.
Phuong was then referred to Binh Dinh Eye
I’m incredibly touched by how parents will do all
they can to help their kids. With Orbis and the
Jason Chan, Orbis sight-saving star
medical help. With no suitable facilities Hospital, an Orbis partner hospital, where
close by, Lan travelled hundreds of she was diagnosed with strabismus and
kilometres to Ho Chi Minh City to seek scheduled for surgery. Lan was nervous,
help. After many long, expensive trips, but extremely happy that her daughter was
After surgery, Phuong’s eyes were bright
and clear. When I met this brave little lady,
she told me she loves mathematics and
wants to become a teacher when she grows
up. Her story is a heart warming example
of how Orbis’s entire medical team does its
utmost to help every family and every child!
HELP FIGHT BLINDNESS
Help us restore the vision of children in Asia by making a donation that will
directly empower our 400 leading ophthalmologists, anesthesiologists and
nurses to train eye care teams across the continent.
Registered Charity No