Since the start of IRIS programs 19 years ago, the charitable foundation has:
on Jan 01 in Featured posted by irisasia
– provided 753,216 poor people with eye examinations
– given 87,285 visually impaired people with a pair of glasses
– fully restored the sight of 135,853 people by providing them cataract surgery
Sri Lanka visits included the Lions Gift of Sight Hospital, Panadura, where all surgeries resulting from IRIS funded eye screening, refraction and cataract surgery camps are performed. Then it was off to meet Dr. Kapila at the Centre for Sight in Kandy so Michele could provide the Centre with a new indirect ophthalmoscope to be used for outreach work, donated to IRIS by Vision Charity, a UK based organisation, which supported in the past the construction of a new diabetic retinopathy children’s unit at the Centre.
A visit was also arranged by the Foundation for Improvement of Sight and Health, a local IRIS partner organisation, for us to see an eye screening, refraction and cataract surgery camp organised in Nuwara Eliya for 500 impoverished tea plantation workers. Before leaving Sri Lanka trustees also visited ‘Vision Through Wisdom’, a charity-run school in Hatton for visually impaired children of impoverished families living on tea plantations.
From Sri Lanka the group travelled to Mae Sot in Thailand to meet Dr Frank Green and Dr Phillip Ambler who manage Karenaid, a UK charity looking after the eye care needs of Karen refugees living in camps along the Thai/Burma border. IRIS has supported Karenaid with grants in the past.
Whilst there we met Than Zaw Oo, a 5-year old Burmese boy, from Karen State, Burma, who had a large orbital tumour in his left eye. Having discussed possible treatment with Karenaid staff and the Director of the Burma Children Medical Fund, IRIS agreed to support the cost of Than Zaw Oo being diagnosed and treated at a hospital in Chiang Mai.
We were then entertained by three children attending the Mae Sot Blind Centre, run by Boonsiri Phuengkaew, who herself is visually impaired and gradually going blind. IRIS supported work of the Centre in 2014 with a general purpose grant of £5,000. Boonsiri, a charismatic, inspired teacher has taught the Burmese children Thai language with the aim of integrating them into the Thai education system. Following the visit, IRIS trustees approved a further grant of £5,000 to the Mae Sot Blind Centre and purchased an iCare tonometer for use by Karenaid at a cost of £2,400.