A meeting was held in the central city of Da Nang on October 5 to mark World Day of Vision and launch a campaign to encourage local people to donate corneas.
The drive, initiated by the Vietnam Red Cross and Orbis International in Vietnam, will be carried out in the city’s seven districts by 285 volunteers.
It aims to raise public awareness of cornea-related diseases and the significance of cornea donation, and call upon people to register for donation.
The campaign in Vietnam is being carried out on trial in 10 cities and provinces. Nearly 3,200 Red Cross volunteers are joining the drive to spread information about the cornea-related blind disease and encourage people to donate corneas after death.
More than 30,000 people have so far registered.
Vietnam now has over 300,000 blind people who are awaiting cornea transplantation operations but availability is still limited.
Since 2004, Orbis International has been assisting Vietnam to promote eye care and treatment for people and the organisation has become the biggest cornea supplier to Vietnam with some 100 corneas each year.
From 2010, the Central Eye Hospital Eye Bank, supported by Orbis, will receive 330 corneas from local voluntary donors annually.