The Ophthalmology School at Yonsei University College of Medicine has recently built a school and examined children's eyes in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, jointly with the Community Chest of Korea in Gyeonggi Province.
“Project BOM” at the school provides comprehensive eye care for the visually impaired people living in resource-limited conditions abroad.
|Vietnamese children get their eyesight tested as part of Project BOM’s overseas services. (Credit: Project BOM)|
According to the project operators on Tuesday, the educational and medical service in Vietnam varies widely depending on location. The conditions of schools and public health centers in major cities are modernizing. Still, those in vulnerable and remote areas are seriously poor.
There are concerns about the conditions of Vietnamese adolescents' eyes. About three million adolescents aged between 12 and 15 have a visual impairment. Still, most of them cannot receive treatment or are using incorrectly prescribed glasses. The current situation has significantly affected children's health and educational level.
The construction of schools in Quang Tri Province and the correction of ametropia have been ongoing for a year since February 2019 as a designated donation project by Rep. Park Jeong with the electorate in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, to improve the poor environment.
Project BOM examined 401 students at seven schools in an economically deprived area called A Vao in the province, and gave glasses to students with ametropia, such as astigmatism or myopia.
The team provided eye examination training to school nurses for teenagers to help them continuously receive an examination even after the project ends.
Project BOM also chose one of the seven schools that were not functioning its purpose and renewed it by building a healthcare room and two classrooms.
"We expect the eye conditions and educational achievement of local students will improve amid improved social and economic conditions," said Professor Yoon Sang-chul of the Graduate School of Public Health Yonsei University.
Project BOM started its operation in 2013 to manage eye disease and help improve local public healthcare providers’ eye management skills by utilizing mobile healthcare.
The purpose of the project is to treat serious eye diseases and prevent vision loss in Malawi, East Africa, and several Vietnamese provinces, including Quang Tri, Thai Nguyen, and Thanh Hoa, where people lack healthcare services.
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