More than 200 domestic and foreign ophthalmologists are attending a symposium at the Hue Central Hospital in the central Thua Thien-Hue province to get updated on eye diseases and treatments.

The biennial workshop, the fifth of its kind in the imperial Hue city, is one of activities to mark the 120 th founding anniversary of the hospital - the first Western-styled hospital in Vietnam, and part of the ongoing Hue Festival 2014.

The hospital’s Director Bui Duc Phu said the symposium was first held in the hospital during the Hue Festival in 2006 thanks to the assistance from the US’ Hawaii ophthalmology organisation. It has now become a regular event in the Hue Festival.

The event from April 14-17 covers a number of thematic issues such as glaucoma, eye treatment and surgery.

According to the Vietnam Ophthalmological Society (VOS) and the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology, the number of Vietnamese people suffering from blindness now accounts for 3.1 percent of the total population, while 15-40 percent of the population, including about three million children, have refractive eye disorders.

The ophthalmological sector is striving to reduce the rate of blindness in people aged over 50 to 2.35 percent by 2019 and establish eye care centres for children.-VNA