Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A workshop on improving access to eye care services for people with disabilities took place in Hanoi on March 18.

The event was held by the Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IABP) and CBM International.

Speaking at the workshop, Head of the Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment Luong Ngoc Khue said an estimated 285 million people in the world were visually impaired. Of these, 246 million had low vision and 39 million were blind.

In Vietnam, about 1.8 percent of people over 50 are considered blind, Khue added.

It is forecast that the burden for eye care services will increase. The number of people with eye impairment will soon reach 8 to 10 million, including more than 600,000 people with blindness, he added.

Khue also said the Ministry has been developing a national strategy for the prevention of blindness that will be submitted for the Prime Minister’s approval. The strategy will give priority to eye care for people with disabilities, he affirmed.

During the event, northern Thanh Hoa and Son La provinces shared their experiences enhancing eye care for those with disabilities.

People with disabilities face many difficulties every day – not just in terms of language, communication and travel, but also with access to public services like healthcare.

Delegates at the workshop stressed the need to make healthcare services more accessible to people with disabilities, and help them get equal access to other public services, including education and transportation.-VNA