Na­tion­wide eye sur­vey to be con­ducted next year

The Myanmar Times - - News - MYINT KAY THI my­in­tkaythi@mm­times.com

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.”

Photo: Pyae Thet Phyo

A pa­tient un­der­goes eye surgery in Nay Pyi Taw.

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