Around 15,000 people in five localities will receive free consulting services and medicines to mark World Sight Day that falls on October 10.

The three-week programme that will run until Oct. 28 in HCM City and Hanoi , as well as the provinces of Quang Binh, Binh Phuoc and An Giang, is being sponsored by Japanese pharmaceuticals and cosmetics producer Rohto Mentholatum Vietnam Co Ltd.

Tran Thi Phuong Thu, head of the HCM City Eye Hospital , said knowledge about preventing eye diseases could prevent and effectively treat 75 percent of the visual impairment that people suffer from in Vietnam .

She said that the main causes of blindness in the country are cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, corneal opacity and diabetic retinopathy.

She added the rate of blindness is higher among women than men because they live longer and had less access to proper healthcare.
Eye hospitals have been cooperating with schools and media companies to improve awareness of preventing eye diseases and shortsightedness among students, Thu said./.