In September the ground was broken for the new G Adventures 20/20 Vision Centre in the province of Battambang, Cambodia. We are happy to report that the construction is going well and we have walls! Dr. KC, an ophthalmologist and Seva’s partner in Cambodia, went to visit the site and sent us some great photos showing us the wonderful progress that is being made.
The Vision Centre, funded through Planeterra Foundation, the charitable arm of G Adventures (formerly Gap Adventures), is being built in collaboration with Seva Canada and Battambang Ophthalmic Care, Seva’s partner in Cambodia. It is located in Moung Roussey, about 40km south of Battambang town, and will serve 300,000 people — mainly the rural poor who have had little or no access to health care.
The Vision Centre, which will be finished in the spring of 2012, will employ an ophthalmic nurse as well as a field worker and will have essential equipment for examining and treating simple eye conditions. About 90% of eye problems can be dealt with at the Vision Centre and those patients who need further care, such as cataract surgery, will be transported to Seva’s partner in Battambang.
It is expected that 6600 people will be screened annually through screening camps, 200 people per month will visit the clinic itself and 3000 people will be referred for treatment annually to the Battambang Ophthalmic Care Centre.
In Cambodia, blindness and visual impairment are major health problems that have ripple effects throughout families and communities. With 80-90% of eye care issues being preventable or treatable, Vision Centres are vital for early detection and the prevention of blindness.
“Cambodia lost so much during the war and conflict in recent years,” explains Dr. Chundak Tenzing, Director of Seva’s Sight Program. “Now, it’s as though they have to rebuild their health care system infrastructure from the ground up. But there’s already been real progress and we can see the way to keep improving.” The new Vision Centre in Moung Roussey is certainly a positive step forward in providing Cambodians access to eye care.
Keep checking back as we will continue to provide updates on the progress of the new Vision Centre.