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The Vietnam Child Sight Project is achieving important results in 2018.
Across the broader project, over 119,000 school children have already had their eyes screened this year, and over 4,200 glasses have been distributed.
A key component of this project is the training of teachers and school nurses to conduct child eye care communication, vision tests, referrals for further care, and patient follow-up. This results in a significant increase in the number of children who will be screened and educated in eye health. In the first half of 2018, 320 teachers and school nurses have been trained, and over 90,000 school students have been educated in eye health.
Thanks to your contribution, $20,000 has made the following results possible:
Thank you for being a part of this life transforming work.
Seven-year-old Cam was born with cataract in both eyes. By the time she started kindergarten, she was completely blind. She could not read or walk properly and was unable to learn the basic daily activities we take for granted.
Watching their daughter lose her sight was utterly devastating for Cam’s parents. Just a few years ago, the family spent all their money on surgery to save the sight of Cams older brother Quoc. Like any parents, they wanted the best for their daughter, but it was beyond their reach.
Thanks to The Fred Hollows Foundation, young Cam was discovered at an outreach eye camp near her school in Quang Ngai province. She was referred for surgery at Da Nang Hospital, a three hour journey in rugged terrain from their remote village.
For every child with advanced cataract, surgery must be performed with delicate and expert precision. Cam was in excellent hands. Her operation was performed by Dr Ngoc, the head paediatric eye surgeon at Da Nang Hospital.
“I hope to bring back her sight so she can have a normal life, go to school and have a better future. I see Cam as like my child, and I think she deserves the same opportunities as my children.” - Dr Ngoc
Just 24 hours after surgery, Cam’s patches were removed. She didn’t realise she could see at first, but within minutes she broke into a big grin. She was looking towards her father and saw his beaming smile looking back at her.
The sense of relief and joy on Nhat’s face was beautiful to see. A happy, bubbly little girl had emerged, a far cry from the timid and withdrawn child Dr Ngoc met just days before.
This project, currently running from January 2016 – December 2018, is a pilot. This pilot is looking at integrating the health and education sectors in Vietnam, with the aim of improving the eye health of school children aged 6-15 years old.
To date, this project has proven a successful model that has had a positive impact on the eye health of children living in the three trial provinces.
At the end of the project period, successes and challenges will be reviewed, and new budgets and activities will be proposed for the following three years, 2019 - 2021.
The Fred Hollows Foundation will continue to work in Vietnam until avoidable blindness has been eliminated. The Foundation is currently implementing nine projects across the country, and will ensure that the work Professor Fred Hollows started more than 25 years ago carries on.