- The country has a population of more than 90 million
- Densely populated mainly in the Mekong and Red River deltas
- Eighty percent of the country is mountainous and some areas are difficult to access
- There are fifty-four minority groups. Many of them live below the poverty line
- Minority communities in particular have limited access to health care
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What does the Eye Care Foundation do?
Since 1993 the Eye Care Foundation supports eye care in Vietnam. Initially, they organized eye camps operated by Dutch ophthalmologists and nurses, helping as many cataract patients as possible in a short space of time. The focus has gradually shifted to the development of sustainable eye care and comprehensive optical services. To achieve this the Eye Care Foundation supports the education and training of ophthalmic and support staff, the establishment of Vision Centres in district and provincial hospitals, providing eye tests in schools and on the elderly and organizes activities around education and awareness. The Eye Care Foundation supports projects in four provinces (Dong Thap, Binh Duong, Ca Mau and Soc Trang) and in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Currently in many areas in Vietnam, patients with visual impairment have no prospects of improving their circumstances. Many people accept this, believing that their problems cannot be resolved because there is no health care available. For example, this means that children with visual impairments fall behind in school.
In Vietnam, the current number of people with visual impairments is estimated at 15% to 30% of the population, which amounts to between 12 and 24 million people.
- Education and training of ophthalmic personnel
- Establishment of vision centres
- Eye exams in schools and for the elderly
- Education and raising awareness
The field office in Ho Chi Minh City opened in 2008. The country representative, Luong Thi Quynh Lan, supervises the projects. She is assisted by Tran Phan Quy Ngan, who is responsible for the administration and finances. The country representative reports to Elise Kenter, programme manager of the projects in Vietnam and Laos. The team is assisted with medical advice by the Dutch ophthalmologist The Anh Mai, who works on a voluntary basis as a consultant for the projects of the Eye Care Foundation in Vietnam.
Contact details of the Eye Care Foundation Vietnam
R401, 383 Vo Van Tan street
Ward 5 – District 3
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam