Blindness rate drops strongly in Vietnam hinh anh 1At the conference (Source: VNA)

Nghe An (VNA) – The rate of blindness among people 50 years old and older has dropped strongly in the past decade, standing at 1.3 percent in 2015 from 3.1 percent in 2008, according to the latest survey conducted in 14 cities and provinces in 2015.

The information was released by Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO) Nguyen Xuan Hiep at the 2019 national ophthalmological conference in Vinh city, the central province of Nghe An on October 24.

Also according to the survey, the estimated number of blind people in Vietnam decreased from 443,700 in 2000 to 370,640 in 2007 and 269,380 in 2018.

Hiep said the number of people with corneal scars is decreasing while those with cataracts, refractive errors, and diabetic retinopathy are on the rise.

Jointly organized by the Vietnam Ophthalmological Society (VOS) and the VNIO, the event saw the participation of over 2,000 local delegates, 80 experts from France, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, and the Republic of Korea, and representatives from over 50 pharmaceutical firms.

Addressing the conference, Huynh Phuong Ly, chief representative of Brien Holden Vision Institute in Vietnam proposed measures to fight blindness, saying that it is necessary to developsatellite hospital networks, promote training and technology transfer, and improve the quality of human resources serving in the sector.

Attention should be paid to strengthening and consolidating the network of eye care service providers to ensure easy access to services for children, the elderly, and the disabled, she said.

Meanwhile, Ava Hossain, a representative from the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) said that Vietnam needs to take the initiative in cooperating with other countries, organizations and individuals in and outside the country in research, training and technical and financial assistance to better the quality of services in the field.

Short-term training courses will be arranged in the framework of the conference, aiming to help eye doctors learn about new knowledge and technologies.

Ophthalmology-related pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies are exhibiting their products in 52 booths at the event.

The conference is held every year to evaluate the prevention of blindness in the country and serve as a forum for experts to share outcomes of latest research.

Vietnam aims to reduce the rate of blindness among over-50 people to 1.6 percent by 2020.-VNA