Cambodia

Research

Childhood Bindness Study 2009

In March 2009, a team from Sight For All undertook a survey of the four Schools for the Blind in Cambodia, working closely with their local colleagues in a training capacity. A total of 97 children were examined, with the majority having genetic causes of visual impairment and blindness. Half of all children had avoidable diseases , with measles being the leading cause of preventable blindness. Please click here to read the abstract from this publication.

One quarter of the children required referral to the local ophthalmologist for further treatment, the majority requiring cataract surgery. Genetic samples were taken from a number of children with genetic eye diseases. The results of DNA testing are being used to determine causative genes that may help to understand and fight unavoidable blindness in Cambodia in the future. A new gene for childhood glaucoma has since been discovered from this study – please click here to read the abstract from this publication.

The optometric team prescribed 75 optical devices (40 spectacles and 35 low vision aids) that will enhance the education of these children, and Orientation & Mobility training was assessed at each of the schools.

Many thanks to the whole team – Dr James Muecke and Dr Michael Hammerton (Australian ophthalmologists), Dr Meng Ngy (Cambodian ophthalmologist), Ms Aimee Kong and Ms Anna Morse (Australian optometrists), Mr Horm Piseth (Cambodian optometrist), Mr Martin Holmes (Australian optical dispenser), Ms Carolyn Hamilton (Australian orientation & mobility instructor).

School Children Refractive Error Study 2010

In October-November 2010, Sight for All conducted a survey of school children in Cambodia. The primary aim was to determine the level of refractive error, or the need for glasses, in children aged 12 to 14 years. There were three teams working simultaneously with one team testing children in the urban area of Phnom Penh and the other two teams focusing on schools in the rural Kandal Province. Over 13 days, the team traveled to 36 schools and over 5500 child had their vision and glasses prescription tested. The level of refractive error in the urban areas was about 14%; children in the rural schools had a much lower rate, at about 4%. Please click here to read the abstract from this publication.

Many thanks to all the team for their hard work. Special thanks to Dr Meng Ngy (Cambodian ophthalmologist), Dr James Muecke and Dr Zoe Gao (Australian ophthalmologists), Mr Horm Piseth (Cambodian optometrist), and Ms Aimee Kong, Ms Theresa Jnguyenphamhh and Ms Yalda Dehghan (Australian optometrists).

Education

Sight For All’s team of Australian and NZ paediatric ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists are training two paediatric ophthalmologists, Dr Kheng and Dr Soleaphy, at Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh over a two-year period in 2015-17. Following completion of her training, Dr Kheng will become the first consultant paediatric ophthalmologist at the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital. Thanks to Novartis XOVA, the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh, The Lang Foundation and Wonderwork, who are all helping to fund this initiative.

Sight For All’s team of Australian and NZ glaucoma specialists are currently training two Cambodian ophthalmologists in the management of glaucoma at Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh over a two-year period in 2014-16.

 

Infrastructure Support

In 2014, Sight For All equipped the new Paediatric Ophthalmology Unit at Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh. Dr Kheng will be working in this unit throughout and following her training. The diagnostic equipment and surgical instruments will allow Dr Kheng to treat children who visit the hospital with the best possible ‘tools’ and visual outcomes. A big thank you to Novartis XOVA, the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh, The Lang Foundation and Wonderwork, who funded this initiative.

In 2016 Sight For All donated a diode laser with indirect delivery system to aid in the management of retinopathy of prematurity in infants in Cambodia.

In 2016, Sight For All donated a new Ellex SLT laser to enhance the treatment of glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness in Cambodia.