- Myanmar is experiencing pressing economic and infrastructural challenges, making even the most basic services difficult to access on a regular basis.
- There is a staggering backlog of cataract surgeries in the region and tens of thousands of cataract sufferers.
What HKI Is Doing
Helen Keller International has been working in Myanmar since 2000 and current programs are focused on eye health initiatives that provide cataract treatment programs:
- HKI collaborates with the Ministry of Health and the National Prevention of Blindness Program to strengthen cataract treatment services.
- The number of cataract surgeries performed by the centers HKI supports has increased from 2,541 operations before the program began in 2001 to 20,433 in 2007.
- Not only were more surgeries performed, but a larger number, as high as 90% in some areas, were done with an implanted lens, resulting in a better quality of sight.
- HKI’s support of the Min Bu Secondary Eye Center in Myanmar helped Dr. Aung San Win learn a more efficient method of cataract removal, which is easier and faster to perform, and dramatically improves patient vision.
- Helen Keller International provides services and equipment and ensures that the equipment is used appropriately and kept in working order.
- HKI provides technical assistance to the national teaching hospitals, Yangon Eye Hospital and Mandalay Eye & ENT Hospital, as well as to Secondary Eye Centers in Upper Myanmar, which are part of the Trachoma Control and Prevention of Blindness (TC/PB) network.