Ratanakiri is a province in northeastern Cambodia. The province has about 184.000 inhabitants, most of whom work on the land. It is a poor province with limited infrastructure and large distances between villages. The provincial hospital in Ratanakiri has a modest eye care department, where an ophthalmologist has worked since 2013. In addition to eye examinations and treatments, cataract surgeries are also performed in the hospital. It is supported by the Eye Care Foundation who provide free eye care to the residents of the service area who cannot afford it.
The current provincial hospital offers too little space for a fully functioning eye department. Here, the eye department does not have its own operating room, no space to store medical equipment, and there is no room for patients who need to stay overnight after surgery. There is only a small consultation room, where out of necessity all eye tests are currently taking place and supplies are stored. Surgeries are now forced to take place in a shared operating theatre. The new eye clinic is a major step forward in the field of eye care in Ratanakiri.
Eye Care Foundation is building a new single-storey eye clinic on the grounds of the hospital. A single-storey building will ensure good access to all areas of the clinic for visually impaired and blind patients. A special ramp will be built for patients in wheelchairs. The construction of the eye clinic has now started.