The National Institute of Ophthalmology and the ORBIS non-governmental organisation on March 17 signed a cooperation document to improve the institute’s child eye care capacity.

The project will help the Hanoi-based centre provide quality eye care services for children while building a programme on training pediatric ophthalmologists nationwide.

The National Institute of Ophthalmology takes the lead in providing eye care services for children in the north of Vietnam, which is home to 43 percent of child patients in the country.

However, with a population of 90 million, Vietnam now has only four medical establishments with pediatric ophthalmology departments. It is far lower than the World Health Organisation’s requirement, which is one for every 10 million people.

Meanwhile, the country is also short of pediatric ophthalmologists due to a lack of training programmes.

ORBIS is a non-governmental organisation devoted to blindness prevention and treatment in developing countries. It previously gave assistance to the National Institute of Ophthalmology from 2003 to 2010.-VNA