Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Can Tho (VNA) – Diabetes patients in Ho Chi Minh City and a number of Mekong Delta provinces will be provided with free eye care under a project worth 734,000 USD jointly funded by the international non-governmental humanitarian organisation Orbis and the World Diabetes Foundation.

The funding was handed over to the Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital at a conference on ophthalmology in Can Tho city on October 21.

The project will be implemented from October 2016 to September 2020 by the Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital, the Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital in HCM City, the Tien Giang General Hospital, the Tien Giang Eye Hospital, and the Cai Lay district Hospital in Tien Giang province.

Doctor Nguyen Thi Hue, manager of Orbis’s programme in the southern region, said the project aims to help diabetes patients prevent the loss of vision caused by diabetic retinopathy through building care models in HCM City and adjacent localities.

Accordingly, it will develop a pilot model to provide scanning services for early detection and timely treatment for diabetes patients.

Hue said scanning and treatment services will be built on the basis of existing medical establishments on endocrine and ophthalmology in Vietnam, adding that the model will be expanded in other localities nationwide in the future.

The Department of Examination and Treatment under the Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Ophthalmology and the National Hospital of Endocrinology will also join the project, helping examine policies to support scanning service of diabetic retinopathy.

They will also closely work to build coordination mechanisms between the ophthalmology and endocrinology sectors, recommend insurance policy, and run campaigns to raise public awareness of the importance of early detecting diabetic retinopathy.

The number of people living with diabetes and those at high risk for diabetic retinopathy in HCM City and Mekong Delta localities is on the rise. However, most of them have not been examined and scanned for early detection.

The project is expected to significantly contribute to strengthening the capacity of Vietnam’s ophthalmology sector.-VNA