More than 1,500 people gathered in Takeo eye hospital to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Caritas Cambodia’s Takeo Eye Care program in Takeo province on 10th October 2017.  Takeo Eye Care program is a collaborative project between Caritas Cambodia and the Ministry of Health. A high-profile event was presided over by H.E. Bin Chhin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister in Charge of Office of Council of Ministers. The 20th anniversary was held in joint commemoration with the World Sight Day 2017.

The day is marked with three main purposes. Firstly, it is to present the achievements of the program in the field of eye care for the past 20 years in providing quality diagnostic, curative and rehabilitative eye care and eliminating preventable and treatable blindness. The event is an opportunity for Caritas Cambodia to express gratitude and heartfelt thank to all partners, donors, private sector, in particularly the Royal government of Cambodia and relevant key stakeholders for their tremendous support technically and financially. Secondly, it aims to share compassion and commitment in promoting and expanding eye care services in Cambodia, specifically for the poor Cambodians. Thirdly, it is to celebrate the “World Sight Day 2017” which is to raise awareness and promote community participation in eye care services.

A comprehensive eye care program in Takeo Eye hospital has been the single largest eye care program in the country since 1997. Through the 20 years, the hospital has engaged in three main activities namely infrastructure building and facilities support, counseling and treatment services and capacity building and training.

 
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H.E. Bin Chhin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister in Charge of Office of Council of Ministers presided over the 20th year anniversary celebration.
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Approximately 1,500 attendees to the 20th year anniversary of Takeo Eye Care program
Dr. Te Sereybonn, Takeo Eye Program Director welcomed dignitaries including H.E Bin Chhin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister in Charge of Office of Council of Ministers, H.E Sok Pheng, the secretary of state of the Ministry of Health, H.E Lay Vannak, Takeo governor and in-line governmental departments, and all participants representative of partners, donors, NGOs, student, and private sector.
Dr. Bonn briefed the achievements of the program over the last 20 years. According to his summary, Takeo Eye hospital is equipped with 70 beds and has received 68,981 patients to stay at the hospital for eye treatment, and 434, 468 people came to get consultation; and 63,356 people get eye operation. Asides from treatment, the program provides capacity building to Ophthalmologists and Ophthalmic Nurses. Various trainings such as primary eye care are provided to the health center staff, village health support group and public school teachers. Furthermore, in outreach program, a total of 33,794 people get consultation, 9,020 are refereed to treatment and 3,778 receive treatment in Takeo Eye Hospital.  
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Dr. Te Sereybonn, Takeo Eye Program Director is giving a report summary of the hospital for the last 20 years
By presenting the way forward, Dr. Te Sereybonn shared “The hospital is committed to provide eye care service to all patients. We continue to build capacity and provide quality eye care services in the hospital and our outreach activities will be integral to support the poor, despite their ability to pay, with appropriate eye care services including identification, counseling and treatment”.

Eye health is important for human being. The report from the World Health Organization said 258 million people worldwide are having eye problem, 90% of all are from the developing countries. In Cambodia, according to the national statistic, at least the prevalence rate of eye disease is 0.38% and prevalence rate of 2.8% is for people aged 50 and older.

Eye health information is not well-known in the community. Broader understanding on the issue is therefore essential. H.E Sok Pheng, the secretary of state of the Ministry of Health said to make sure that no one is left behind, it is important that collaboration between the non-governmental organizations and the government will be needed in raising awareness and promoting understanding on eye health issue.

All of these achievements are possible with the support of all partners and donors.

 
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H.E Sok Pheng, the secretary of state of the Ministry of Health is addressing his impression remark.
In the name of the provincial authority, H.E Lay Vannak, the governor of Takeo province is happy to witness the successful collaborative project between Caritas Cambodia and the Ministry of Health. He is thankful to the support of the hospital to the people in Takeo province as well as other provinces. “I take this opportunity to call to all in-line local authority and relevant stakeholders to continue working with the hospital to reduce blindness in Cambodia”, stated H.E. Lay Vannak.   teh009
H.E Lay Vannak, the governor of Takeo province is giving his impression remark to the achievements of the program in Takeo province
Dr. Morchen Manfred from CBM Germany is one of the founder and donor. He congratulated the success of the program and expressed his special honor to join the occasion.  He acknowledged how the program and hospital has helped the poor. “I am deeply impressed that the program runs by itself”, said Dr. Morchen Manfred added that through the effort, I am sure that the hospital will be able to achieve further success and sustainability”.

The keynote speech and opening remark was made by H.E Bin Chhin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister in Charge of Office of Council of Ministers. He extended his appreciation to the success of the program. H.E. Bin Chhin said the government is proud to partner with Caritas Cambodia and Taeko Eye hospital in carrying out the mission to provide quality eye care services for Cambodian people, particularly the poor. He concluded his speech by presenting firm commitment of the Royal government of Cambodia in joining with the globe to contribute to the reduction of blindness of 25 % by 2019.

 
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Dr. Morchen Manfred , from CBM Germany, one of the founder and donor is addressing his remark
teh006H.E Bin Chhin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister in Charge of Office of Council of Ministers is delivering his opening remark
The event was ended with the hand-over of medal award and honors to the founders, donors, representatives of institutions, leaders and staff of Takeo Eye hospital.

Coincided with the “World Sight Day” and during the three-day celebration, the event was made to raise broader awareness on eye health and care and the hospital organized free services to the general public.  Report the 20th anniversary of Takeo Eye Hospital 10-12 October 2017.

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