Five-year project targets persons with vision impairment nationwide

Yangon Region Minister for Social Affairs U Naing Ngan Lynn looks at documentary photos displayed at the celebration event of the World Sight Day held on 11 October at the Yangon Eye Hospital.  Photo: Yangon Region Government
Yangon Region Minister for Social Affairs U Naing Ngan Lynn looks at documentary photos displayed at the celebration event of the World Sight Day held on 11 October at the Yangon Eye Hospital.  Photo: Yangon Region Government

Yangon Region government is currently implementing a five-year project from 2017 to 2021 to help people who are blind and visually impaired on a national scale, said U Naing Ngan Lynn, Yangon Region Minister for Social Affairs at the celebration event of the World Sight Day held on 11 October at the National Eye Bank of the Yangon Eye Hospital.
The World Sight Day is annually celebrated on the second Thursday in October in all member countries of the World Health Organization. This year’s motto of the day is “Universal Eye Health: Eye Care Everywhere”. The first ever celebration of the day was held in Myanmar in 2000.
“The national project aims to offer necessary cares to persons with vision disabilities throughout the nation between 2017 and 2021, raising helping hands for the target population”,U Naing Ngan Lynn said. He told the gathering that the most common eye diseases in Myanmar are cataract, glaucoma, poor eyesight, injuries, eye diseases caused by diabetes and hypertension. The cataract is responsible for about 60 % of the total eye problems. Thus, providing effective care and treatment for cataract is expected to protect people from vision loss.
Moreover, there are about 350 eye specialists in Myanmar, providing eye cares and the ratio of eye patients and doctors is 150,000 to 1. Continuous efforts have yearly been made by the authorities so as to achieve universal coverage in primary eye care, including offering eye care at schools, field trips to cure rural people with eye diseases and giving primary eye care trainings, he added.
U Naing Ngan Lynn said “The 150-bed Yangon Eye Hospital was opened since 1993, offering healthcare services to patients with 216 staff, where the majority of eye patients are suffering from cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment, corneal diseases and injuries. On weekdays, the hospital’s out-patient department provides eye care to roughly 400 patients on a daily basis. Extensive services have also been provided to patients through the hospital’s eight specialist departments, including Department of Hepatology, Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Department of Nephrology, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Rheumatology, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Urology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit. In addition, between 85 and 100 patients are daily undergone eye surgeries at the hospital on five days a week. Also, emergency eye care is given by the hospital daily.”
With the permission of the Ministry of Health, the Yangon Eye Hospital continues to make field trips to offer eye care to people in need in cooperation with related ministries and well-wishers. In their field trips in the last year, eye specialists offered free surgical and medical treatment to people in Danubyu, Labutta, Gyobingauk, Moenyo and Sittway towns. To offer better eye care to local patients, the hospital made collaboration with international bodies from Japan, Singapore, Australia, the U.S. and the Netherlands.
Also present on the celebration of the World Sight Day were officials from the Department of Health, the Medical Superintendent of the Yangon Eye Hospital and officials, officials from the WTO and international non-governmental organizations as well as invited guests.

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