Houaphan is very sparsely populated. 40% of the population live below the poverty line. High mountains, densely wooded forests and few roads create hard to reach areas. Different languages and customs of the many minority groups make communication difficult.
In 2011, the Eye Care Foundation started the first phase of the project Eye Care. In the beginning, the irregularly held eye camps were organised in the capital, Vientiane, in the province of Xieng Khouang and its neighbouring areas. The appointment of Dr. Oui as general surgeon and ophthalmologist at the provincial hospital of Houaphan in 2011 results in annual visits of all provincial districts to perform eye operations.
The Eye Care Foundation invests in the education and training of local staff in the field of eye care. This increases the quality of eye care. This way, the sustainability of the project is guaranteed.
In Houaphan eye care must be brought closer to the villagers. Therefore, local health staff receive training in the field of eye care. They play an important role in raising awareness of the local population.
In 2015 Lia Marmelstein-King was a volunteer at the Eye Care Foundation, and has made a video to give an impression of the eye care project in Houaphan.