Expanding Care & Training in a New Frontier
In 2014, the government of Myanmar invited Dr. Sanduk Ruit to strengthen the country’s ophthalmic capacity through training, direct service, and infrastructure support. To help these efforts, HCP successfully secured a USAID grant to provide state-of-the-art equipment for the Yangon Eye Hospital (YEH). Since then, YEH has provided ophthalmic care to over 96,000 people.
HCP further committed to supporting the training of eye care personnel at Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology and other locations including those listed below:
- Subspecialist Dr. Aye Chan completed a 12-month Cornea Fellowship at Tilganga, working alongside Tilganga’s highly-skilled surgeons and gaining expertise and hands-on experience in a modern, cutting-edge eye care facility.
- Biomedical technician San San Lwin trained at Tilganga to learn how to maintain the equipment purchased for the Yangon Eye Hospital with USAID funds.
- Subspecialist Dr. Wah Wah Lwin completed a 12-month Retina Fellowship, which included hands-on training at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Nepal and an observership at the John A. Moran Eye Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since Dr. Wah Wah Lwin completed the hands-on portion of her fellowship training at Tilganga and returned to YEH, the retina surgical service increased by almost 25% between 2016 and 2015. Dr. Lwin is one of only three retina specialists for the roughly 54 million people living in Myanmar. In reference to her training at the Moran, Dr. Lwin stated:
This training widened my knowledge. I became more familiar with advance technology and surgery. It made some improvements in my career and institution. Thanks HCP and Moran Eye center very much for the precious training.
HCP is committed to conducting 2 surgical campaigns each year in Myanmar in partnership with Tilganga. In 2016, over the course of 10 days, partners from the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Nepal traveled to Myanmar to work with local ophthalmologists to provide over 500 sight-restoring surgeries, 60 in Yangon and 482 in Phyu. Learn more about our work in Myanmar.
In February 2015, HCP chairman Dr. Geoffrey Tabin and Dr. Ruit led two Cataract and Cornea workshops at the Yangon Eye Hospital and in Taunggyi. A total of 706 cataracts and 11 cornea transplants were completed during these workshops. Drs. Ruit and Tabin assisted with skills transfer, supporting an outreach team from the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology. Participants included 30 ophthalmologists and 20 ophthalmology residents. This campaign was jointly sponsored by HCP, the Ghorkha Social Welfare Association, Yangon Eye Hospital and numerous business partners in Myanmar.
Additionally, Dr. Sanduk Ruit and his team conducted two high-volume cataract campaigns in 2014, where they performed 445 cataract surgeries at Yangon Eye Hospital and 225 in southern Myanmar at the island city of Myeik.