Increasing services to remote regions of Cambodia

The Kampong Chhnang province in central Cambodia now has two Foundation-trained ophthalmologists who are providing eye care services in the region.

Dr Ouk Soleaphy is the first female ophthalmologist to have graduated from a training program supported by The Foundation in Cambodia.

Dr Soleaphy recently conducted her first eye screening camp when she and her team travelled to the remote area of Kampong Chhnang. Providing eye care through remote camps means patients do not have to travel large distances to access services.

“Most of the patients are the same as my parents age, who are still capable of work to support their family. But the blindness stops them being active persons,” Dr Soleaphy said. “I say to myself I must do something to help them out of the darkness.”

As a result of this remote eye camp 1,020 people were screened and 202 sight restoring surgeries and treatments were performed by an eye care team of three ophthalmic nurses and two ophthalmologists. All health care workers were trained through the support of The Foundation.

Dr Soleaphy says she is excited to be helping people and is thrilled when she sees patients smile again after receiving their sight-restoring operation.

“Patients come up to me and cannot thank me enough for giving their sight back again, it’s the moment of peak joy of being an ophthalmologist,” she said.

Since The Foundation established the Ophthalmology Residency Training Program in Cambodia in 2007, twenty ophthalmologists have been trained. Before the training started there were just seven ophthalmologists in Cambodia.

Through our work in Cambodia:
  • We have supported 28,498 cataract surgeries
  • The prevalence of blindness has declined from 1.2 percent in 1998 to 0.38 percent in 2012
  • We have built five new eye facilities, renovated 10 eye units and rebuilt the Siem Reap Regional Eye Hospital with the Australian Government.
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