South-East Asia, Myanmar: Corneal blindness
Gerard Sutton of behalf of Lions NSW Eye Bank, Australia

Aim

Upgrading the eye bank and corneal surgical services in Mandalay, Myanmar

The project

Corneal blindness is a leading cause of blindness in Myanmar. Despite a population of 54 million, fewer than 100 corneal transplants are performed each year in the entire country. This figure needs to be increased 50-fold just to match the annual incidence of corneal blindness in Myanmar.

This project aims to upgrade storage facilities at the eye bank in Mandalay (unchanged since 1977) so that up to 5,000 corneas can be available for transplantation per year, whilst providing increased training of local surgeons in corneal surgical techniques and corneal transplant management. A manager will be appointed for the eye bank as a key step to establishing a successful and self-sustaining eye bank and associated training programs.

It is hoped that this project will go a long way to addressing the unmet needs of corneal blindness in this country.