Building sustainable eye care for Cambodia
‘My vision had slowly deteriorated over two years till I was left blind and unable to work in the ricefields’ says Mr Nhien Nak, 67, who lives in Cambodia’s Tom Poung village and cares for his grandchildren orphaned by AIDS.
‘But now that I’ve had the surgery my blindness has left and I can work and feed my grandchildren again’.
Like so many blind people in rural areas of developing countries Mr Nhien didn’t realise that his blindness was due to a cataract which could be removed through simple surgery. ‘I thought that this blindness was a sign of bad fortune from God’ said Mr Nhien. It was a special day when a field worker from Battambang Ophthalmic Care (BOC) came to visit and explained that his condition could be treated and his eye sight restored. Since Mr Nhien didn’t have the money for the surgery or the 40km trip to Battambang, the BOC worker arranged for travel and surgery for the following day at no cost.
Three months later when he was visited by BOC for his surgical check up Mr Nhien was working happily harvesting rice.