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On the 13th of December, Professor Sunil Shah was a guest on the Kath Stanczyszyn show on BBC West Midlands, to discuss the work of Khmer Sight in Cambodia.
Prof Shah travelled to Cambodia with a dedicated team, and completed 250 sight-saving procedures, over the course of 4 days.
Prof Shah led his first mission to the country in 2016, providing free eye surgery to those who are unable to access or afford proper care.
Since then, The Khmer Sight Foundation has performed more than 25,000 eye surgeries. However, it is estimated that more than 180,000 Cambodians are still blind, with 10,000 Cambodians suffering avoidable blindness each year. Some 90% of blindness is avoidable: 79% is curable and 11% is preventable.
Founded in 2015 by H.E. Sean Ngu and the late Dr Kim Frumar, Khmer Sight 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 Prof. Sunil Shah who donates a significant portion of his time to returning to Cambodia to lead regular missions which involve praoviding free eye surgery to those who are unable to access or afford proper care.
Listen to the interview in full below, which includes a message from Bou Sarron, who is one of thousands of people who have benefitted from the work of Khmer Sight.
Bou Sarron, who spoke in a recent interview with Cambodia Begins At 40, said,
“I noticed that my vision started to get less clear for distance over many years, but since the last few months it was getting more difficult to see – I would need to go closer to see far off objects.
I heard about the free eye screening organised by the Khmer Sight Foundation (KSF) and the National Bank of Cambodia and visited there for an eye checkup. I was informed by the doctor that I have cataracts in both eyes and would need to undergo cataract surgery for which I would need to travel to [the Cambodian capital] Phnom Penh. I informed the doctors that I need to take care of my family and could not afford to travel to Phnom Penh or pay for the cataract surgery. The team assured me that the surgery and everything else would be free of cost and I that I didn’t need to pay for anything.”
“I arrived in Phnom Penh with several other people from my commune and was checked again by the doctors. After this I underwent cataract surgery on my right eye. The doctor informed me that the surgery was successful and I would need to come back the next day to remove my eye patch. The next day I arrived for an eye checkup and I was surprised to see everything very clearly including the small letters. I was really happy to get my vision back and was instructed by the doctor to take care of my eyes properly.
I went back to my province with a better vision, and now after a few weeks since my surgery I can see much better and take care of my family nicely. I informed them about the cataract surgery and they were happy, I am looking forward to get my left eye operated again as well.”