In July I was lucky to be asked by Sight For All, a charity based in South Australia (http://sightforall.org/), to pass on my expertise to the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology.
In 1917 the French authorities set up an eye care facility in Hang Ga Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. This was the first of its kind in Indo-China. In September 2004 it was renamed to the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology (it was originally the Institute of Ophthalmology)
The VNIO offers the same services as other regional developed countries and is a top-tier ophthalmology facility. VNIO consists of many clinical departments, paraclinical departments and operational departments.
International cooperation is very important to VNIO. Approximately 40 international delegations pay working visits each year. VNIO also receives assistance in professional and technical training and consultation from foreign specialists.
I am one of a handful of optometrists from around Australia to have visited the Refractive Department. We are training Minh Anh, an optometrist, and her ophthalmological colleague Huong and two refractive nurses in the art and science of contact lenses.
During my visit my main aim was the fitting of paediatric aphakic (post cataract removal) patients with rigid corneal contact lenses or gas permeable scleral contact lenses.
I was instrumental in organising LS Technologies and the local Australian contact lens laboratories to set up their import and export protocols. Now lenses are being trial fitted and ordered and sent to VNIO in Hanoi to start benefitting these babies, children and young adults.
Hanoi is a wonderful city to visit with terrific food and very lovely and warm people. I would encourage you to visit!
I am hoping to attend VNIO again soon and intend to continue to help and pass on my expertise.