Myanmar has one of the highest blindness prevalence rates in the world with 8.1% blindness in rural areas. Blindness is caused by cataracts (64%), glaucoma (17%), trachoma (4%) and other causes (15%). Myanmar has 40.4% low vision rate in rural areas of which 70% is due to cataracts.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image will be blurred. Most cataracts are related to aging and it is very common in older people.
Individuals living with cataracts may be unable to complete simple day-to-day tasks due to limited vision. This can cause a downward shift in their quality of life.
“I had troubled with my eye vision that made everything I see blurry. That’s why I can’t do what I want to. Now, I can’t go to the monastery and do ritual practice”, said Daw Ohn Kyin (58) from Poakpakan village.
KT Care has built a strong relationships with local networks that identify those in need of the eye surgery. These networks have become familiar with the specialists in the area and are alerted when a suitable candidate for surgery is identified. These networks connect these patients to KT Care to begin the screening process.
“KT care delivers eye surgery at Kyaukpadaung Hospital and Now I have clear eye vision and do whatever I want. I’m very happy for clear vision and plan to take meditation in the monastery”, Daw Ohn Khyin said.
KT Care has been providing surgical care to poor patients in Myanmar since 2011. In 2014, the project was added to the mobile clinic to be more accessible for rural areas. In 2016, Eye Surgery project by KT Care successfully delivered eye operations to 63 patients who are from the low-income families.