Overseas Community Work

The Singapore Society of Ophthalmology has partnered Global Clinic Ltd, a non-profit NGO based in Singapore on various missions to Cambodia, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar. Led by its Director, Dr Marcus Ang, who is also a Consultant Ophthalmologist with the Singapore National Eye Centre, the clinic examined and treated more than 10,000 patients in the past 10 years from the mountains of the Himalayas to the rural villages of in South-East Asia. While most of the work is primary eye care and cataract surgeries, Dr Ang also focuses on training local staff, optometrists and nurses to provide basic eye care for the local population.

In 2014, the clinic partnered with the Ayerwaddy State District Government to organize eye screenings at the villages around Pathein in the Ayerwaddy Delta. Over 2000 patients were examined by a team of Optometrists and Ophthalmologists led by Dr Ang. Medications, prescription spectacles and reading glasses were distributed and more than 200 free cataract surgeries were also performed for the most urgent and visually impaired patients over 5 days. As an example of what each mission entails:

A. Free Eye Clinics: Examined and treated approximately 2000 patients in surrounding villages around Pathein in the Ayerwaddy Delta, counseled the people how to protect their eyes and simple ways to improve vision, and provided spectacles, eye drops and treatment of eye conditions. Optometrists also screened and improved vision in school children and adults, treating refractive causes of amblyopia.

B. Cataract Surgeries: Performed more than 200 cataract surgeries, including pediatric cataracts; and other surgeries such as conjunctival flaps, tarsorraphy, and pterygium excision with conjunctival grafts. Patients were then followed-up and managed by local Ophthalmologists.

C. Education and Training: Identified trained key community members (school nurses, doctors) to work with Global Clinic on following up with the patients for future collaboration and sustainability programs. Basic eye care training such as Visual Assessment and Eye Hygiene education was taught to the nurses.