The Ministry of Public Health on July 23 hosted a conference to review the implementation of the Vietnam-Australia Vision Support Programme (VAVSP), which is being conducted in the provinces of Quang Nam , Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Thanh Hoa.

The ministry has cooperated with the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and other non-governmental organisations conducting the project since June 2011 to June-2013.

Funded by the Australian Government through AusAID, the project aims to set up a pilot eye care model in various localities in Vietnam to help the ministry establish a suitable model for the development of eye care services at district level and direct the application of models on the national scale.

In the central province of Quang Nam, the project helped four districts of Que Son, Duy Xuyen, Hiep Duc and Tien Phuoc to establish refractive surgery services and provided free eye surgery in 654 cases with deficient cataracts, and training courses to managers, technicians and nurses working in the eye health care field.

3,064 pupils with eye refractive defects at eight schools and 333 orphaned children in the central province of Thanh Hoa received checkup and treatment of eye diseases.

The project supported the southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau to set up three vision centres in Xuyen Moc, Dat Do districts and the provincial Eye Centre. It also helped 26,000 pupils and 8,000 people in the province access eye examinations.-VNA