BA RIA-VUNG TAU– Over 43,000 school children will receive access to eyecare treatment in the southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau thanks to a project run by the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE).
Around 1,500 children from 68 schools in the districts of Xuyen Moc and Dat Do will receive free glasses while the project will also provide eye care training courses for 1,814 teachers and 68 eyecare workers.
The project is part of the Viet Nam Australia Vision Support Program which is a component of a AUD $45 million(US$47million) project between the Australian Agency for International Development and the Avoidable Blindness Initiative to reduce incidents of and improve quality of life for people with vision impairment and blindness in South East Asia and the Western Pacific Region.
Nguyen Viet Giap, director of the provincial eye centre said they had a high rate of blindness for people over 50, while many school children were not aware of impaired vision.
May Ho, ICEE Programme Manager for Viet Nam said "about nine million people in Viet Nam are affected by eye problems, but access to eyecare is difficult for those living in rural and remote areas."
In 2008, the ICEE began working with the Viet Nam National Institute of Ophthalmology with the aim of assisting the development of optometry training in the country. – VNS