mental health Mandy Kloppers

How one Cambodian woman regained her sight thanks to UK charity Khmer Sight

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This is a heartwarming story of a Cambodian woman whose sight was saved by UK charity Khmer Sight, heading by Professor Sunil Shah, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Midland Eye Clinic in the UK.

 

 

Here is her story:

Bou Sarron, 62, lives in Kampong Thom province in the centre of Cambodia. It is most probable that you have never heard of her. But she is one of thousands of people who have benefitted from the work of Khmer Sight.

 

These are her own words.

 

“I noticed that my vision started to get less clear for distance over many years, but since the last few months it was getting more difficult to see – I would need to go closer to see far off objects.

 

“I heard about the free eye screening organised by the Khmer Sight Foundation (KSF) and the National Bank of Cambodia and visited there for an eye checkup. I was informed by the doctor that I have cataracts in both eyes and would need to undergo cataract surgery for which I would need to travel to [the Cambodian capital] Phnom Penh. I informed the doctors that I need to take care of my family and could not afford to travel to Phnom Penh or pay for the cataract surgery. The team assured me that the surgery and everything else would be free of cost and I that I didn’t need to pay for anything.

 

“I arrived in Phnom Penh with several other people from my commune and was checked again by the doctors. After this I underwent cataract surgery on my right eye. The doctor informed me that the surgery was successful and I would need to come back the next day to remove my eye patch.

 

“The next day I arrived for an eye check-up and I was surprised to see everything very clearly including the small letters. I was really happy to get my vision back and was instructed by the doctor to take care of my eyes properly.

 

“I went back to my province with a better vision, and now after a few weeks since my surgery I can see much better and take care of my family nicely. I informed them about the cataract surgery and they were happy, I am looking forward to get my left eye operated again as well.”

 

Bou Sarron returned to Phnom Penh in November and had the cataract in her left eye removed on 7th October. Hers was one of more than 200 procedures conducted under a mission of UK volunteers led by Professor Sunil Shah, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Midland Eye Private Clinic in the UK.

 

Sunil led his first mission of UK volunteers to the country in 2016, providing free eye surgery to those who are unable to access or afford proper care.

 

Since then, KSF has performed more than 25,000 eye surgeries. However, it is estimated that more than 180,000 Cambodians are still blind, with 10,000 Cambodians suffering avoidable blindness each year. Some 90% of blindness is avoidable: 79% is curable and 11% is preventable.

 

KSF is seeking donation, international medically qualified volunteers and volunteers with no medical experience for a variety of roles.

 

To make a donation, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/khmer-sight-foundation-save-sight-in-cambodia.

 

Donations will be used to: Provide high quality training, education and facilities to future ophthalmologists; purchase resources and equipment to provide free eye care to rural Cambodians; and help restore sight to the blind.

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

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