The Eye Care Foundation has been working in partnership with the National Ophthalmology Centre in Laos since 1994. The aim of the collaboration is to strengthen leadership and governance in the eye health care sector at national and sub-national levels. This partnership extends to working with Provincial Health Departments and Provincial Hospital Eye Units to improve the quality of eye care services at national, sub-national, and community levels to reach the goal of preventing avoidable blindness and vision impairment.
The priority is to work with communities to help them improve their own eye health systems. ECF does this through life-changing operations and treatments, training doctors and health workers, generating new ideas, and pushing for change at all levels – from a local perspective.
In 2012, ECF started working with the Lao government on strengthening the eye health care capacity and facilitating surgical eye camps in the three target provinces of Xiengkhouang and Houaphan.
What is on ECF’s agenda in Laos?
- Give people access to eye health services in the project provinces of Huaphan and Xieng Khuang and the National Ophthalmology Center (NOC) in Vientiane: through consultation, through screening camps and through school screenings.
- Provide eye operations, including cataract operations and other eye surgeries are performed at the provincial hospitals and through outreach surgery camps.
- Both children and adults in Huaphan and Xiengkhuang receive eye screenings in the community. Adults receive reading spectacles. Primary students have their eyes checked during eye screening camps and during school screenings and eye examinations in primary schools. Spectacles are dispensed to children in need, while students with more complicated eye problems are referred for further examination and treatment to the nearest eye health facility, district or provincial hospitals.
- Participants (ophthalmologists, BED, and ophthalmic nurses nationwide) attend the National Ophthalmological Society Workshop in Vientiane Capital. Primary health workers receive early detection and referral training by ophthalmologists in Huaphan and Xiengkhuang; eight ophthalmologists and ophthalmic nurses attend the ophthalmic workshop in Thailand. Doctors attend the residency ophthalmology training course at the NOC. The eye health team will have improved their skills through technical advice from the NOC during field monitoring visits.
- Introduce and roll-out the new model of eye care intervention at the three new provinces Bolikhamxay, Khammouan and Savannakhet, focusing on integratedpeople centred eye care (IPEC), quality of eye care services and its sustainability through the improvement of six pillars of health system strengthening, generate evidences, advocacy and secure funding from the reliable sources.
Administration and Finance Manager
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