First training centre for ophthalmology opened in Indonesia
Generous donation by Carl Zeiss enables better treatment for over a million blind people
Dr. Michael Kaschke, Director of Carl Zeiss AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, has opened the first training centre for ophthalmology at the Cicendo Hospital in Bandung, Indonesia, together with Dr. Gullapalli N. Rao, President of IAPB (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness) and representatives of the Indonesian government.
“We at Carl Zeiss firmly believe that the initiative “Right to Sight” is making a major contribution to the introduction of global standards for eye treatment. With donations of customized solutions, Carl Zeiss is helping to make high quality eye treatment available and affordable for millions of people all over the world,” said Dr. Kasche at the opening.
Carl Zeiss is supporting the foundation of the training centre with a donation of US$ 200,000. The funds will be used for training staff and equipping the centre. The company also donated several systems for diagnosis, treatment and aftercare, including slit lamps, treatment lasers and a surgical microscope. In a joint programme of action Carl Zeiss, the IAPB and the Cicendo Hospital specified the measures and tasks to be completed before the start of training.
The opening of the training centre is part of the Vision 2020 initiative. Its goal is to eliminate avoidable blindness in the world by the year 2020. Carl Zeiss is the first corporate sponsor of Vision 2020 and had proposed to IAPB to install training centres for ophthalmology in various regions of the world. The first was to be opened in south-eastern Asia.
On the basis of an estimate by the IAPB, which took into account the population size, extent and gravity of eye diseases, existing training programmes and available resources, the relief organisation selected Indonesia as the location for this eye centre. A national eye health programme was launched in Indonesia in 1978. However, studies showed that despite joint efforts, the rate of blindness had increased from 1.2% to 1.5% by 1996. The main cause of blindness is cataracts, with a share of over 50%, and 1.5 million people in Indonesia are afflicted.
With cataracts, the lens of the eye clouds up over a period of many years causing blindness. This disease can be healed by removing the clouded lens and inserting an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). There are 600 eye specialists and 2,200 qualified medium-level medical personnel. Approx. 40,000 cataract operations are performed each year. After an in-depth analysis by the IAPB the Cicendo Hospital in Bandung was selected as the facility in which a training centre performing high standards could be installed.
Under this programme Carl Zeiss will be supporting the establishment of a training centre in each of five regions within the next five years.
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