In Myanmar, more than 170,000 people aged 50 or over are blind and almost 25,000 school children are blind. It is also estimated that 32% of people aged over 50 are living with visual impairment. 

Some 87% of avoidable blindness in Myanmar is caused by cataract, glaucoma, trachoma and diabetic retinopathy. For people aged 50 years and older, cataract remains the leading cause of blindness followed by glaucoma. 

The Fred Hollows Foundation started working in Myanmar in 2012. Since then more than 117,000 people have accessed comprehensive eye care services in the country where women represent 55% of the total number of patients. 

The Foundation is currently working in Shan State and Ayeyarwady, Magway and Tanintharyi regions.

The Foundation and its partners are focusing on tackling cataract and trachoma by strengthening leadership and governance mechanisms, establishing a comprehensive eye care system and delivering quality and accessible eyecare services and building the capacity of ophthalmology workforce. 

By adopting a sustainable, gender and equity-centred approach, The Foundation is working to eliminate of avoidable blindness in the country.

The Myanmar program receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).



Helping people see
  • 115,622 people screened

  • 1,348 eye operations and treatments performed 

  • 1,319 cataract operations

  • 29 other sight saving or improving interventions 

  • 1,307 pairs of glasses distributed

Investing in people

  • 10,109 people trained including:

  • 9,920 community health workers 

  • 189 teachers

  • 98,705 school children and community members educated in eye health

Equipment and Technology

  • 3,671 medical facilities equipped 

  • 18 schools equipped

Aung's Story - Shining a light in Myanmar

Cataract surgery to restore 68-year-old Aung’s failing sight took just minutes – but completely changed his life. This is the remarkable story of Aung and his eight-year-old granddaughter Lin.