Nearly three million Vietnamese pupils suffer from refraction eye diseases, two-thirds of whom are short-sighted.
This was announced at the first national seminar on children’s eye care held in Hanoi on August 9-10 by the National Steering Committee for the Prevention of Blindness (NSCPB), the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO), the Vietnam Ophthalmology Association (VOA) and ORBIS, an international non-governmental humanitarian organization.
The seminar attracted nearly 200 delegates from ophthalmologic centres across the country as well as international experts who presented 30 professional reports on topics in children’s eye care such as children’s eye diseases in Vietnam, treatment methods and creating friendly consultation rooms.
The event gave eye doctors the chance to exchange experiences, be updated on the latest research on examination, treatment and diagnosis of children’s eye diseases, and improve public awareness of children’s eye diseases, especially refraction diseases like short-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism and weak eyesight, which have become hot social issues in Vietnam.
A VNIO survey showed that refraction diseases increased sharply from 2.5 percent in 2002 to 25-30 percent in 2007, especially among pupils. The disease is most prevalent in big cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where more than 40 percent of pupils suffering from the diseases.
Doctor Nguyen Chi Dung from VNIO reported that children’s eye care only receives attention in big cities like Hanoi, HCM City, Danang, and Hue, as well as some of the larger provinces, while eye care is very weak in many other provinces due to a shortage of doctors.
Dung proposed that in addition to providing more essential medical facilities, the Ministry of Health should create the best conditions for provincial eye doctors to attend training courses both at home and abroad.
A Children’s Ophthalmology Club debuted on the occasion, aiming to provide a scientific forum for children’s eye doctors to exchange experiences and stay updated on the latest domestic and foreign technologies for treating children’s eye diseases.
Source: VOV News
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