The Khmer Sight Foundation, founded in 2015 by H.E. Sean Ngu and the late Dr Kim Frumar, has continuously worked toward creating a brighter and more promising future for ophthalmologic care in Cambodia.
Since 2016, the organisation has also been led by Professor Sunil Shah, a leading British ophthalmic surgeon from Birmingham, UK, who donates a significant portion of his time to returning to Cambodia to lead monthly missions which involve providing free eye surgery to those who are unable to access or afford proper care.
Currently, in Cambodia, over 180,000 Cambodians are blind and 10,000 Cambodians suffer avoidable blindness each year. 79% is curable and 11% is preventable.
Three-quarters of blindness in Cambodia is due to cataracts, and the rest is due to uncorrected vision, glaucoma, corneal scarring and pterygium.
Cambodia has one of the lowest numbers of eye specialist doctors per capita in the world. 10% of the population lives below the poverty line; over 40% of Cambodians earn $2 per day. Most of the poor live in rural areas where there is either no or limited access to eye care.
Khmer Sight’s vision is to train the next generation of eye care health professionals in Cambodia so that the country can become self-reliant in the provision of high-quality, safe and effective eye care.
Khmer Sight is on a mission to eliminate avoidable blindness in Cambodia and provide expert clinical training, recognised by overseas professional bodies, for all eye care health professionals.
Khmer Sight is looking for volunteers to join their next mission to Cambodia, whether you are an ophthalmic specialist, an administrator or an ophthalmology student/intern, Khmer Sight would love to hear from you.
Ophthalmologist, Dr Priyanka Mandal, from the West Midlands, has joined three Khmer Sight missions to Cambodia and says the trips were ‘life-changing’.
“I love the work I do in the UK and was really excited to travel to Cambodia to help make a practical difference to people living with visual impairment. I had an amazing, eye-opening time. The trip really broadened my perspective and to see so many people with such a severe level of sight impairment was a shock. You simply don’t see that in the UK.”
“You go into medicine to help people, and this was a very practical way of helping those who don’t have anyone else to go to. Without Khmer Sight and its volunteers, these people would not be able to access treatment. The KSF team in Phnom Penh were really welcoming and the patients were so incredibly grateful. To see their faces light up when we restored or improved their vision was overwhelming.”
“I also gained invaluable management and clinical experience while I was there. In a low-resource setting, we often had to think outside of the box for problem-solving. The pathology was so severe and varied and a far cry from the clinical settings in the UK. My experience with Khmer Sight has improved my skillset and has made me a better doctor.”