NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2008 – By invitation from the Myanmar Ministry of Health and the Mandalay Eye and
Hospital, ORBIS International, a nonprofit global development organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide, returns to
Myanmar to conduct its ninth
Hospital program there. The program will be held in
Mandalay from February 25 to March 7, 2008.
Working together with the Burmese ophthalmic community, ORBIS activities will augment efforts already underway to fight avoidable blindness by providing training for ophthalmologists, anesthetists, nurses and biomedical technicians. ORBIS will also work with policymakers to educate the public on eye health and blindness prevention.
“There is a real thirst for medical knowledge in
Myanmar, especially from the West. Since 1991 ORBIS has provided rare opportunities for the ophthalmic community to participate in international skills-exchange programs,” said Dr.
Hospital medical director. “Our motivation for returning and conducting this program is the great impact achieved over the last 17 years.”
Eye experts from North America will share their skills and knowledge with more than 60 eye health care professionals in Myanmar during the two-week program, which will be comprised of approximately 70 eye and laser surgeries, lectures, hands-on and simulator training, live surgical demonstrations, and wet-lab sessions. Joining ORBIS from the
United States will be volunteer faculty members:
- Dr. Sai Gandham,
- Dr. Mark Cepela,
Arshad Bil Ragan,
- Dr. Charlene Hsu-Winges,
Nevada Retina Associates,
- Dr. Jin Kim,
- Sandy Burnett, RN,
Myanmar – A History of Helping
Since 1991, ORBIS has conducted eight
Hospital programs in
Myanmar and more than 10 hospital-based programs covering a range of surgical and medical topics. With ORBIS’ assistance,
Myanmar established an eye bank in 1994 and is now a member of the International Federation of Eye and Tissue Banks. ORBIS also helped the country better manage its cataract backlog by introducing ophthalmologists to the extracapsular cataract extraction technique in 1992, and then to phacoemuslificaton five years later. These and other new surgical techniques introduced by ORBIS in
Myanmar have brought the country’s capacities more in line with interventions routinely used in affluent nations.
Causes of Blindness in
An estimated 252,000 people are blind in
Myanmar, with the regions of Pegu, Rakhine and
Mandalay seeing the highest prevalence of blindness. The main causes of blindness in
Myanmar are cataract (63%), glaucoma (16%) and trachoma (4%).
ORBIS International is a nonprofit global development organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Since 1982, ORBIS volunteers and staff have restored the vision and transformed the lives of more than 4.4 million people in 85 countries. At the same time, ORBIS has been building local capacity to provide eye care in those countries by training more than 154,000 eye care professionals aboard the
Hospital and in local hospitals in developing countries. Long-term national blindness prevention programs also take place in