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 Center, located 125 km Northeast 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 the Philippines, where millions are unable to access basic eye care services.
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. 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.
As part of the new partnership, The Foundation will promote the Tarlac model of community eye care services to other parts of the Philippines that are currently underserved.
Dr Shelley will be giving a presentation at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Tokyo in April.