5-year-old girl Tran Ngan Chau, exchanges bracelets with Rhiannon, one of the UK students visiting Can Tho Hospital under Orbis Student Journalism Internship with ACS international schools.
Chau is an orphan taken care by the Buu Tri temple, Can Tho City. Orbis Team met Tran Van Anh, 21 years old, the eldest sister of the 60 orphans, who was sent to look after Chau by the master. According to Anh, Chau was accidentally stabbed in the eye by a pencil while colouring, one of her favourite pastimes.
Chau is having her right eye treated by a doctor from the Hospital’s Children Friendly Eye Department, supported by Orbis Vietnam. Very often, children get injured especially when they’re playing. The work of Orbis in Vietnam has vastly improved the access for children like Chau to good eye treatment, thanks to all your support.
We’d like to share a piece of good news! The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is going to be in Hue, Vietnam from 19 August to 6 September 2019, and there will be an opening ceremony on 21 August 2019. The Flying Eye Hospital’s visit to Hue concludes the 5-year project aiming to improve eye care services for children across the central region. While in Hue, the aircraft will launch a 3-week training course for medical personnel along with about 200 screenings and 100 surgeries onboard the plane and in partner hospitals.
8-year-old Bui Cong Danh lives with his family in a 10-square-meter rented flat in a community block with poor living conditions. Both parents are labourers and they struggle financially.
Danh suffered from severe congenital strabismus that made daily activities very challenging. His father told us that Danh has also developed dementia, and somehow, mental retardation. It was a very difficult time for the family. The condition also delayed his progress in school. Despite being an 8-year old boy, he will be in the first grade this year.
Danh’s father recounted how his son was teased continually in school at first. This affected Danh’s confidence even though he loved going to school.
Danh’s eyesight was restored after he got an eye examination and surgery in Can Tho Eye Hospital, Vietnam.
Now that he can see clearly, he is happy to remind his classmates how important it is to take good care of their eyesight. Having always dreamt of being a football star when he grows up, Danh’s skills are improving in leaps and bounds. His parents are so proud of him as they see the way he dribbles the football and want to thank all Orbis’s supporters for giving him good sight and a chance in life. Danh’s determination to overcome adversity is such a great inspiration to other children.
Danh is one of the hundred children who received surgeries provided by the trained doctors in another project at Mekong Delta sponsored by a wonderful foundation. Your funding to “Give Sight Children in Vietnam” enables us to help other children in the same way.
We will be able to develop capacity for local partners in eye hospitals in other provinces to help children and elderly with visual impairment and other avoidable eye-health conditions that are identified and diagnosed at early stages. Thank you for granting beneficiaries like Banh to access high quality and affordable eyecare services.
We had a great start to a wonderful year, thanks to your help. You enabled us to be able to provide essential medical equipment to screen the eyes of children, including providing ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) screening. Babies born 1800 grams or less than 33 weeks of age are at risk of ROP.
We produced educational materials to raise the awareness of eye care for children at Can Tho Children Hospital (CTCH) and Can Tho Eye-Ondontology Stomalogy Hospital (CTEH).
Your support contributed effectively to improve the quality of eye care for children in Mekong Delta. It gives hope to newborn and helps to prevent unnescessary blindness among children in Mekong region.
The number of babies who received ROP screening (including new and return cases) at CTCH from July to October 2018 was 242. We referred 8 ROP cases for laser treatment. 917 children received eye treatment, minor surgery and refractive error examination. The total beneficiaries impacted from the start of this project in September 2017 till now is an incredible 6,240.
As of 24 January 2019, we are USD8,243 away to conclude this project, and we know we couldn’t have done it without you.
Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.
Orthoptist from UK examined a child for strabismus
Suong stays in a village 70km away from the city centre of Can Tho. She stays with her brother and parents in a house built using rusty metal panels on a polluted riverside.
Suong suffered from congenital cataract - this means that the lenses in her eyes were cloudy since birth. She couldn’t see clearly and struggled to read at school. She even had to retain her grade twice and may have to drop out if her grades do not improve!
Fortunately for Suong, she got her eyes operated during the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital program in Can Tho. When the Orbis Vietnam team visited her recently, they found that Suong sees things much clearer and brighter, and her performance at school has also noticeably improved. That's because she can now see clearly enough to read what’s on the blackboard!
Suong has a bright future ahead of her. With better vision, she can finish school and get a chance to work at her dream job, to earn a living and fulfil her dreams.
Thank you for helping children like Suong, and many more.
We are nearly there - this campaign is 70% funded and we are just USD13,500 away from our goal. This #givingtuesday, 27 November, will you make a contribution to better children's lives and help us win extra incentive funds to support our children's programs in Vietnam?
Stay tuned for my next e-mail with steps on how you can make your donation go further with the #givingtuesday campaign.
In Q2 of 2018, we served 1,491 children, bumping the total number of little friends who received eye care services since October 2017 to 5,073.
In the first six months of the year, the network of paediatric eye care from the community to the hospital slowly started to form. Now, there is a proper referral network to screen children in the community; identify and refer those with eye conditions to district health centres for eye examinations; and refer those needing treatment to the hospital.
In June 2018, we opened the Paediatric Eye Care Unit in Can Tho Eye Hospital. This means that the hospital now has the capacity to treat complicated eye diseases in children from the Mekong Delta area.
Children can receive treatment without travelling to big cities such as Ho Chi Minh in the south and Hanoi in the north. This means that travel and accommodation expenses are reduced and parents spend shorter time away from work, reducing loss of income. Having a facility near their homes also can increase follow-up rates as it is more convenient for the child and caretaker to travel to the hospital.
We couldn’t have done it without the support of our corporate partners and friends like you, so thank you for helping Vietnam’s little ones get access to quality eye care services!
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