Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA)- Vietnam has achieved positive results in reducing the rate of blindness, with only 1.8 percent of the country’s population suffering from blindness in 2015, heard a conference held by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Hanoi on November 3.

According to a report on a national survey on avoidable blindness (RAAB) in 2015 announced at the conference, the figure dropped by 1.3 percent and 2.3 percent compared to those in 2007-2008 and in 2000-2002, respectively.

Conducted by local eye doctors in 14 provinces nationwide under the supervision of the MoH’s Management Department of Diagnosis and Treatment and the National Ophthalmology Hospital, the survey aims to evaluate achievements of the National Plan on Blindness Prevention.

Dr. Vuong Anh Duong from the Management Department of Diagnosis and Treatment reported that the rate of poor eyesight in Vietnam reduced remarkably to 11.4 percent in 2015 from 13.6 percent in 2007.

The report showed that cataract, glaucoma, trachoma, and other refraction remain the leading causes of avoidable blindness and poor eyesight in Vietnam.

Experts stressed that it is necessary to raise the rate of cataract operation from 1,869 cases at present to at least 4,000-5,000 cases per year, and increase the number of crystalline lens operation cases by at least 10 percent per year.

They underlined the need to discover causes of post- cataract surgery poor eyesight in some localities, thus taking appropriate measure to better the situation.

Participants also recommended the launch of communications campaigns to raise public awareness of the benefit of having timely cataract operation, and improvement of the quality of refraction adjustment-related services.

The most recent data said around 409,000 Vietnamese people are suffering from blindness with one third of them being the poor who are unable to afford treatment.

Vietnam is striving to eradicate trachoma by 2015, conduct 250,000 cataract surgeries each year and reduce the prevalence of blindness among the population to less than 0.3 percent in 2020.-VNA