The Khmer Sight Foundation’s Saturday pre-assessment trip to Kampot was a huge success. Travelling early in the morning to a location 175 kilometres from Phnom Penh and setting up, assisted by local health personnel, to see over 100 people with suspected eye issues.
Each client had a basic eye exam before being evaluated by the attending doctor to discover any underlying eye disorders.
Any patient who has a detected eye condition will be invited to the clinic in Phnom Penh to have the necessary surgery at no cost in the near future.
The Khmer Sight Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to eliminate avoidable blindness in Cambodia by training local eye care professionals and providing free eye surgeries to the poor. Founded in 2015 by His Excellency Sean Ngu and the late Dr Kim Frumar, the foundation works with international partners and volunteers to improve the quality and accessibility of eye care services in Cambodia.
According to the foundation’s website, over 180,000 Cambodians are blind, and 90% of blindness is avoidable. The main causes of blindness are cataracts, uncorrected vision, glaucoma, corneal scarring and pterygium. Cambodia has one of the lowest numbers of eye specialist doctors per capita in the world, and most of the poor live in rural areas where there is little or no eye care available.
The Khmer Sight Foundation’s mission is to train the next generation of eye care health professionals in Cambodia so that the country can become self-reliant in the provision of high-quality, safe and effective eye care. The foundation selects local graduates to study internationally on scholarships to further their education in ophthalmology and pass on their training. It also develops surgical and diagnostic skills and provides scholarships abroad to train in sub-specialities that are lacking in Cambodia, such as corneal and retinal issues and paediatric conditions.
The foundation also runs a charitable mission offering free cataract surgery based at multiple charitable hospitals in Phnom Penh. The foundation’s volunteer health workers visit remote rural communities to conduct eye screenings and provide basic instructions on eye hygiene. International specialists help by not only providing training but also conducting free surgery for the poorest people in Cambodia. These surgeries are life-changing and make a tangible difference to local communities.
The Khmer Sight Foundation is a remarkable example of how local and international collaboration can help address a major health issue in a developing country. By empowering local eye care professionals and providing free eye care services to the needy, the foundation is helping to restore the gift of sight to many thousands of Cambodians.