Nationwide eye survey to be conducted next year
THE Ministry of Health and Sports plans to conduct a nationwide survey of eye health in 2017 for the first time in almost 20 years.
“The nationwide survey will be conducted next year. Proposals to support the survey have already been made to the ministry,” said Dr Tin Win, a medical superintendant at the Yangon Eye Hospital.
“We need technical, financial and human resources support to ensure we get good data.”
The World Health Organization, along with various health INGOs and NGOs, will assist the government in undertaking the project.
The project, known as the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness survey, was last conducted in 1997.
According to the findings at that time, six out of every 1000 people in Myanmar suffer from some form of blindness.
The most common eye diseases in the country are cataracts, glaucoma and corneal disease, said Dr Tin Win.
“More than 300,000 people suffer from eye disease but we can’t help everyone,” he said.
“Our hospital has provided around 150,000 free cataract surgeries but some patients live in remote locations, do not have enough money to travel or are scared of the surgery,” he added.
U Nyan Tun Maung, 69, from South Dagon township hoped to have his cataracts cured in the future.
“Now I can’t read the newspaper because of my cataracts,” he said. “So many people are afraid to have the operation. I think they should not be afraid of curing their disease.”
A patient undergoes eye surgery in Nay Pyi Taw.