Eye care in Cambodia

Dr Scott Mackie reflects on a visit to Cambodia to provide eye care for children

Roisin and Scott Mackie in Cambodia

Just before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, my wife Roisin and I booked a 16-day holiday in Cambodia and Vietnam; 40 months later, we arrived. In the intervening time, I met up with my friend Professor Sunil Shah who has been instrumental in setting up the Khmer Sight Foundation. This is a not-for-profit organisation whose aim is to avoid blindness using skills from colleagues around the world to deliver a sustainable model of care without political or financial interference. 

In Cambodia, more than 180,000 people are blind at a growing rate of 10,000 per year. Of this, 90% is avoidable, 79% is curable and 11% is preventable. Three in four patients have advanced cataract and the remaining visual loss is due to uncorrected error, glaucoma, corneal scarring and pterygium in decreasing prevalence. 

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