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Over 600,000 benefit from The Fred Hollows Foundation Yunnan project Over 600,000 benefit from The Fred Hollows Foundation Yunnan project

Over 600,000 benefit from The Fred Hollows Foundation Yunnan project

More than 600,000 people in China’s Yunnan Province have received eye surgery under a Fred Hollows Foundation project supported by The Standard Chartered Bank. The three-year “Seeing is Believing” project also trained more than 4,000 eye care staff and teachers, building the capacity at the local level.

The Foundation’s China Manager Amanda Huang said the “Seeing is Believing” project had built a strong eye care team in Yunnan.

“The project raised the eye care standard of counties and the province in treating cataract, diabetic retinopathy and refractive error. The project also improved patient information flow between village, prefectures and county level,” she said.



Ms Huang said the project needed to address the needs of patients who lacked basic eye care knowledge and services.

“Blindness prevalence rates are high and it is estimated that more than 1.5 million people are still troubled by avoidable blindness,” she said. Ms Huang said the support from the Health Commission of the Yunnan Province, the Yunnan Education Department and the Yunnan Provincial Federation of the Disabled for were invaluable to  the project’s success.

Dr Jia-wen Wu from Nan Jian People’s Hospital, who received the training from The Fred Hollows Foundation on cataract surgery an optometry, said: ““The Fred Hollows Foundation trains a staying eye care team and this benefits patients in the long run. Patients do not need to wait for a doctor to come and we can provide eye care to them any time.”



Seeing is Believing Phase V Project was organised by The Fred Hollows Foundation and the Yunnan Second People Hospital. The project trained medical staff, provided much needed medical facilities, started disease control programs, raised awareness to eye health and set up an eye health data bank. These measures laid a strong foundation for eye care development in Yunnan province and helped efforts to end avoidable blindness in Yunnan.

The project significantly raised eye care quality of hospitals in Yunnan and benefited eye patients in remote areas in Yunnan. Significant results include:
 
  • 318,000 adults and children received free screening on cataract, diabetic retinopathy, refractive error and other eye diseases
  • 432,055 adults and children received surgeries and treatments cataract, diabetic retinopathy, refractive error and other eye diseases
  • 1,164 medical staff were trained in cataract, refractive error, diabetic retinopathy and  blindness management
  • 3,355 village doctors and teachers were trained in basic eye health
  • Medical facilities for cataract, refractive error, and diabetic retinopathy were provided for seven provincial, county and prefecture hospital partners