Eye Care in Cambodia
With the lack of healthcare education, many preventable diseases go untreated. In the case of eye disease this can lead to unnecessary blindness. The leading causes of blindness in Cambodia are cataracts, uncorrected refractive error, glaucoma and corneal scarring, all of which can be corrected with treatment or surgery. However, even when people decide to seek treatment for eye diseases, the cost is often prohibitive, ranging anywhere between $20-$500.
Treatment: Leading Paediatric Specialty Care
Angkor Hospital for Children employs one of only two licensed paediatric ophthalmologists in Cambodia. Our Eye Clinic uses careful testing and responsible treatment to provide accurate diagnoses of and treatments for commonly seen illnesses. The AHC Eye Clinic provides free treatment for a wide range of diseases, we conduct major and minor eye surgeries when required and also offer vision assessments and corrective lenses to patients who need them. Correcting vision at a young age is incredibly important for a child’s education and overall health—it is hard to study and stay in school if you can’t see!
Treatment: Eye Cancer Care; the first Angkor Hospital for Children Oncology Programme
Recognizing a great unmet need, Angkor Hospital for Children initiated an eye cancer care programme in 2013. After careful research, AHC found treating children with retinoblastoma (a rapidly growing tumour of the eye) was a sensible entry-point into AHC’s oncology programme. The simple surgical procedure and short chemotherapy regimen of up to nine months for retinoblastoma give the best chance of a positive outcome for each case treated. In 2015 Angkor Hospital for Children was successfully treating 10 children for retinoblastoma.
Education: International Training
Angkor Hospital for Children was able to establish the eye cancer care programme thanks to mentorship from training hospitals in Singapore and the USA. The volunteer specialist teams worked with AHC’s ophthalmologists to train them on diagnostics, surgery, laser therapy, and chemotherapy so that they are now able to provide these services independently.
Prevention: Community Outreach Training Program
Like our other specialty units, our Eye Clinic provides outreach services to schools and orphanages throughout Siem Reap province. During outreach visits, our team conducts screenings and vision checks to identify children who need follow-up care. Angkor Hospital for Children work alongside staff from the respective facility to train them to perform their own eye screenings and provide referrals when necessary. To further empower school and orphanage staff in the importance of eye care, AHC supports three staff members to attend a two-day training programme to learn about basic anatomy, eye-function (such as refraction) and correct visual acuity testing procedures.