THE Fred Hollows Foundation has started work in the Philippines, a country where it is estimated that over half a million people amongst its population of 92 million suffer from avoidable blindness.
The Foundation’s new partnership with Tarlac Eye Centre, located 125 km north east of Manila, will create a successful and sustainable model for the Philippines to effectively run community eye care programs across the country.
There is a great need for eye care in Tarlac province, where nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line.
Ophthalmologist Dr Shelley Mangahas believes the program will be an important step forward for eye care in the Philippines.
“[It will] provide the highest quality ophthalmologic care in Tarlac at the least cost, with special consideration for the marginalised and the poor,” says Dr Mangahas.
Poverty prevents many people receiving adequate eye care in the Philippines. Untreated cataract is by far the greatest affliction, with the number of new cases outnumbering surgery rates.
As part of the new partnership The Foundation will train more ophthalmologists and health workers, which will mean more patients can be screened and treated.
Dr Mangahas will be giving a presentation at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Tokyo next month.
Source: Fred Hollows Foundation