A newly-built Eye Care Hospital in Phongsaly Province has been opened for public use and has also launched a new eye care project worth 2.6 billion kip (almost US$317,000) to serve people living with eye problems in the three northern provinces of Phongsaly, Luang Namtha and Bokeo.
The opening ceremony was held last week in the presence of Phongsaly Deputy Governor Mr Thongsy Saosouphom, Australian Ambassador to Laos Mr Andreas Zurbrugg, Manager of the Fred Hollows Foundation in Laos, Dr Bouahom Phommalath, and senior and local officials.
Lao National Centre for Eye Treatment in 2015 revealed that 35,000 people in the country currently suffer from blindness caused by cataracts. Every year cataracts effect about 6,200 people, Mr Bouahorm Phommalath said, adding that his organisation can only operate on 4,000-5,000 people per year.
The number of patients who received cataract operations accounted for about 87 percent of the total number of patients requiring operations despite cooperation between provincial hospitals, the Ministry of Public Health, and the Fred Hollows Foundation.
At the same time, the Fred Hollows Foundation has granted medical equipment for the treatment of eye problems in seven northern provinces.
The foundation, since it began operating in Laos, has provided cataract operations for about 44,000 people.
Last year alone, the foundation performed 3,344 sight-saving operations and other sight improving interventions in four northern provinces of Lao PDR.
Source: Lao News Agency