Bringing vision back to the aged

Wednesday, 30/09/2020, 23:58 [GMT+7]

Bringing vision back to the aged

The free eye care program for the elderly has been developed for nearly 9 years, providing free ocular tests, medications and surgeries for thousands of old people, helping them lead a happy and healthy life.
 
Eyesight regained for the aged
 
The most recent program was jointly held by Khanh Hoa Red Cross and Saigon-Nha Trang Eye Hospital in Khanh Vinh District in late September. The event was scheduled to begin at 8:00 but a lot of old people had arrived 1 hour earlier, waiting to have free eye tests, counseling and access to surgeries when prescribed. “I cannot see clearly for 5 years now, but my family cannot afford the treatment. I depend on my children in daily activities. I am so happy to receive free eye examination and then perhaps a surgery. I hope my vision will improve so that I can take care of myself and thus reduce burdens on my children,” said 74-year-old Nong Thi Khai, Khanh Hiep Commune.
 

 

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Free eye check-up for the aged in Khanh Vinh.
 
 
72-year-old Cao Ta Nhan, Khanh Phu Commune, has suffered from poor vision for several years but he cannot afford medical care. He was so delighted to be provided free eye examination and medications. He hoped his eyes would get better after taking medicines and proper care.
 
The program this time provided free eye check-ups and medicines for more than 180 old people in Khanh Vinh District and 42 were determined for surgeries. Most of the patients were with cataract, glaucoma, etc. This year, besides accompanying Khanh Hoa Association for the Elderly in the free eye care program for the elderly, Saigon-Nha Trang Eye Hospital Corporation in Ho Chi Minh City also funded eye surgeries for some 30 old people in need, mostly in remote and mountainous areas. Besides eye tests and surgeries, the program also gave eye care guidance to help maintain good vision and reduce eye problems, according to Dr. Mai Van Hoa, Director of Saigon-Nha Trang Eye Hospital.
 
Continued expansion
 
Since 2012, the program has provided free eye tests and medications for more than 35,000 old people; financed eye surgeries on over 3,500 old patients with a total funding of nearly VND10 billion. The operation funding has been raised by the Provincial Association for the Elderly from businesses and benefactors in Khanh Hoa Province. In response to the eye care program for the elderly launched by Vietnam Red Cross, the Provincial Association for the Elderly has cooperated with Khanh Hoa Department of Health, Saigon-Nha Trang Eye Hospital and Khanh Hoa General Hospital to periodically send physicians to communes, wards and towns to give eye tests to the aged since 2012. Many 70 to 80 year-olds after years in darkness have gained vision thanks to surgeries. Now, they can take care of themselves as well as help their children in some daily activities, according to Le Xuan Hanh, Chief of Representative Board of Khanh Hoa Association for the Elderly.
 
83 year-old Nguyen Thi Dep, Dien Toan Commune, Dien Khanh District, says, “I’m staying with my child and maternal grandchild, both suffering from mental disorder. Since my vision loss in 2 eyes, our life has become more difficult. We had to be reliant on our neighbors’ help and charity meals given by a rice shop nearby. The Provincial Association for the Elderly provided funding for my eye surgery in 2018 and the successful surgery conducted by Saigon-Nha Trang Eye Hospital has helped regain my vision and ease my life since then.”
 
“In the coming time, we will continue expanding the activities to benefit more old people with eye diseases, especially the disadvantaged in remote areas and ethnic minority communities. However, to make the program more accessible and effective, we hope more benefactors will join the effort to sponsor surgeries for the needy. Besides, the Association for the Elderly at all levels is required to boost propaganda, raise members’ eye care awareness and provide prompt assistance for poor members suffering from eye problems,” said Le Xuan Hanh.
 
Khanh Ha
Translated by N.T