Access to eye care services at Mae Tao Clinic

CBM partnership with Suwannitmit Foundation has been strengthening eye care services at Mae Tao Clinic, made eye care services more accessible for people who live in rural areas of Thailand.

Background

It is unarguably that there are shortage of healthcare services and doctors in rural areas of developing countries, especially the need of specialist such as ophthalmologist.

Therefore, access to eye care services and surgery is nearly impossible when the services are only available at the major cities and expensive.

CBM partnership with Suwannitmit Foundation supports Mae Tao Clinic to provide community eye care services in Mae Sot, Thailand. The Eye Department at Mae Tao Clinic was one of the busiest department at the clinic, in 2013 the total of 2,213 eye surgeries were performed at the clinic.

The Eye Department at Mae Tao Clinic led by Dr.Frank Green, a consultant ophthalmologist from Aberdeen, Scotland who has been regularly come and work at the clinic in the past 25 years.

Inspiration and devotion

Dr. Frank Green devoted himself to strengthen eye care services to the poor at CBM supported project; Mae Tao Clinic run by Suwannimit Foundation. Dr.Green’s motivation for humanitarian work came from his supervisor who worked in Africa which inspired him to come and work in Thailand.

Dr. Green first came to Thailand in 1990 for his first voluntary assignment. He got along well with his fellow ophthalmologist, and started to come back twice a year. In 1995, Dr.Green had been offered facility from Malaria Unit at Mae La Camp, Thailand to provide eye care services and surgery.

Year after year, Dr.Green visit Thailand more often for his work. His number of working week in Thailand has been increasing, currently he usually takes four trips a year to Thailand when he usually spends approximately 35-40 weeks working at Mae Tao Clinic and outreach eye care activities.

More accessible eye care services

The activities of the Eye Unit of Mae Tao Clinic also include outreach clinic, where Dr.Green and his team will travel to rural areas along Thailand and Myanmar border to provide eye care services to the doorstep of remote communities.

“There are great needs where I can use my skills to change lives and make difference. I enjoy it and will continue my work here as long as my health allows’, Dr.Green shared his inspiration. CBM also interviewed patients at the Eye Unit of Mae Tao Clinic, most patients are happy with overall eye care services and the surgery outcome.

The majority of patients travel a long way specifically to have eye treatment at Mae Tao Clinic. CBM partnership with Suwannitmit Foundation has been strengthening capacity of Mae Tao Clinic to make eye care services more accessible for poor patients who live in remote communities.

Read more on activities at Mae Tao Clinic, Suwannimit Foundation

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