In 2007 the China-Australia Cataract Surgery Training Cooperation Program will build on the successes of the past through:
Cataract Surgery Training
Primary Eye Care Training
Cataract Blindness Prevention and Treatment
In 2007 the China-Australia Cataract Surgery Training Cooperation Program will undertake the following new initiatives:
Survey of Avoidable Blindness
In 2007 a survey will be undertaken in three counties of Jiangxi Province to provide more accurate data on the prevalence and major causes of blindness. This survey will provide evidence to guide provincial eye care development plans and to enable a rigorous assessment of the program's impact.
New Eye Care Centre
Planning for a new Eye Care Centre in Jiangxi Province began with a workshop in 2002 which involved major stakeholders, provincial authorities and international experts in eye care centre development. The workshop set the stage for defining a business plan, facilities specifications, management structure and scope of services of the Centre.
The Foundation’s aim is for the Centre to have the ability to employ its own staff and set, within regulations, its own fee structure to enable affordable eye care services for the poor and marginalised.
The Centre will provide a range of low cost, high quality eye care services including cataract surgery, refraction and outreach screening for effective patient referral to the Centre.
The Centre will also act as a training facility for eye care personnel at all levels of the health system in Jiangxi Province
The Jiangxi Provincial Bureau of Health has provided The Foundation with formal support for the establishment of the Centre.
A final design and implementation plan for the Centre is currently being developed and agreements reached with the relevant stakeholders.
The Foundation also plans to establish an Eye Care Centre, with a paediatric focus, at Gaoan City People’s Hospital to address the significant problem of childhood blindness. The Foundation's support includes the renovation and equipping of the eye care centre and training for ophthalmic staff (paediatric ophthalmologist, an optician, childhood anaesthetist and nurses).
Regular screening activities will be conducted at schools, while village doctors and school teachers will receive training on how to identify eye problems and to refer children to the Eye Care Centre for treatment and referral.
An extensive community education campaign will be developed to raise awareness about childhood blindness and of the availability of treatment services. This initial three year project represents the first initiative undertaken by The Foundation in China in the area of childhood blindness.