Free surgery gives clear vision for Yangon residents
TWO hundred Yangonites will be able to see more clearly thanks to the Brightness Journey program sponsored by the Yunan Friendship Foundation and the Visakha Foundation, which is providing free cataract surgery to people in need.
From October 10 to 12, 100 patients will receive the free surgery at Yangon Eye Hospital, with another 100 to receive the treatment from October 13 to 15 at Shwe Pyi Hein Darna Hospital.
“We will pay for the medicine and use of the medical facilities for the benefit of patients and the hospital,” said Cheng Yun Chuan, a representative of the Brightness Journey program.
“We also plan to provide free cataract surgeries, through the program, for people in Sagaing Region in December,” he added.
The Yunan Friendship Foundation, a Chinese organisation, began the Brightness Journey program in Myanmar in 2013. Since then over 900 free cataract surgeries have been provided to patients in Mandalay, Taunggyi and Myitkyina townships.
The Visakha Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with the Yunan Friendship Foundation on October 10 pledging their support and cooperation with the Brightness Journey program.
The program provides funding for patients’ medical costs, as well as transportation costs for them and their family.
According to U Tin Win, medical superintendent at Yangon Eye Hospital, six out of 1000 people in Myanmar suffer from cataracts.
“Cataracts tend to occur in old people and are a prevalent disease,” he said.
“The average cost of cataract surgery is around K30,000. Our hospital sometimes provides free operations but we are unable to pay for the patient’s transportation,” U Tin Win said.
The average cataract operation only takes 15 to 20 minutes to perform, but requires patients to take up to one month of rest before they can resume normal activities.
A patient exits the operation theatre at Yangon Eye Hospital following cataract surgery on October 10.