First ‘Eye Bank’ set up in HCMC

The Ho Chi Minh City Sponsoring Association for Poor Patients held a grand opening of the first ‘Eye Bank’ in South Vietnam on July 20, aimed to set up an official base for cornea donations to help upto 300,000 blind people in the country.

The Eye Bank on Tran Hung Dao Street of District 5 (Photo: U. Phuong)

The Eye Bank will be located at 1147 Tran Hung Dao Street in District 5 of Ho Chi Minh City and will be managed by Tran Thi Trung Chien, former Minister of Health.

The Ho Chi Minh City Sponsoring Association for Poor Patients is a non-profit organization and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment such as completely sterilized labs, assessing machines, cornea separating tools, and suitable preservation chemicals.

However, its main responsibility will be to accept, assess, preserve, and then distribute donated corneas to any hospital in Vietnam for cure of blind patients.

According to Dr. Tran Thanh Long, director of the HCMC Sponsoring Association for Poor Patients, the Eye Bank is part of the program ‘Curing Blindness in Poor Patients’.

Until now, 1,000 people have registered for cornea donation after their death.

At the opening ceremony, around 20 organizations and benefactors contributed approximately VND2.5 billion (US$120,000) towards the setting up of the ‘Eye Bank’ as well as the program ‘Curing Blindness in Poor Patients’.

In related news, the Chinese Hue Ha Traditional Medicine Clinic in District 5 of Ho Chi Minh City ignored its suspension orders and continued to treat   patients. It was reported that a woman patient who suffered from hemorrhoids is now facing several medical complications, according to health authorities.

Dr. Phan Van Duong, urologist in Cho Ray Hospital, said the health of Nguyen Thi Lan, 28, hailing from the southern province of Binh Phuoc, is now stable after being in ICU. On July 19 she was rushed to the hospital from the Chinese Hue Ha Traditional Medicine Clinic with acute bleeding from her anus and extreme low blood pressure.

Health authorities said that the Chinese clinic has been fined and their license revoked. Interestingly, a foreign doctor was seen continuing to treat patients. The clinic is currently being investigated.

By staff writers - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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