The National Steering Committee for the Prevention of Blindness under the Ministry of Health and the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO) have urged eye care centres across the country to respond to the campaign by organizing meetings and providing free eye check-ups and medicine in addition to disseminating information to raise people’s awareness of the dangers of glaucoma.
At a meeting in Hanoi organized by the VNIO and the German Christoffel-Blindenmission organization on March 6, VNIO director Do Nhu Hon said that, a 2007 survey in 16 provinces and cities showed 3.1 percent of people aged above 50 were blind. It revealed that around 25,000 of those people turned blind due to glaucoma, which accounts for 6.5 percent of the total number of blind people in the country.
Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness, is a complicated disease that damages the optic nerve, leading to progressive, irreversible vision loss. It can be avoided by early detection and timely treatment or surgery.
During Glaucoma Week, the VNIO will provide free medical check-ups, consultancy and medicine for poor people, wounded soldiers, people with disabilities, and social policy beneficiaries.