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Free eye tests, cataract surgeries mark World Sight Day

Hundreds of people received free eye tests at the Ophthalmology Centre in Vientiane on Tuesday while some people with cataracts had them removed free of charge.
A representative of the Fred Hollows Foundation, Mr Phonesavanh Yangxiayee, told Vientiane Times the free eye tests and surgery were supported by the Foundation to mark World Sight Day.

This year the annual charitable event targeted disadvantaged students at Vientiane schools, with many schoolchildren turning up for eye and vision tests. Their parents and other local residents also went along to the Ophthalmology Centre, he added.
People with cataracts underwent free treatment starting yesterday (October 8) at the Ophthalmology Centre in Thongpong village, Sikhottabong district.
A student at Phiavat Upper Secondary School in Vientiane, Ms Thipphavanh Khongsaisy, who had eye problems, told Vientiane Times this was the first time she had attended the event. She was very pleased to be able to have a free eye test and thanked the Fred Hollows Foundation for their generous support.
She advised everyone to have regular eye tests and to see a doctor in the event of any vision problems.
On the same day, the Fred Hollows Foundation in cooperation with the Ministry of Health held activities at Vientiane Secondary School when eye specialists gave an informative talk on eye health which was attended by a large number of students.
Beside these activities to mark World Sight Day, the Fred Hollows Foundation has been helping people with eye problems, especially cataracts, in 10 provinces of Laos. The goal has been to provide as many people as possible with better vision, under the Sustainable Comprehensive Eye Care project.
The project took place in provinces including Luang Namtha, Savannakhet, Bokeo, Khammuan and Luang Prabang. It began in 2015 and ended last year but there was still a great need for eye treatment so the authorities extended the project until 2020, according to the Fred Hollows Foundation.
Cataracts are very common among people aged over 60, and are more likely among people with diabetes, those who have an eye injury, or those whose parents had cataracts, ophthalmologist Dr Phetsamone said.
People over 50 should see an eye specialist to have their eyes tested every three months and should wear sunglasses to protect their eyes against strong light. Those who suffer from any sort of eye problem should not buy medicine over the counter but should see a specialist, he advised.

By Siladda Souliyong
(Latest Update October 9, 2019)

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