Model eye health training center in Latin America


On February 27, the CBM Phaco Training Center opened its doors in a special inauguration event gathering representatives of CBM, Fundación Visión and ZEISS International.

The center

The CBM Phaco Training Center is the first training center in Latin America to lead the evolution of cataract eye surgery by promoting phacoemulsification technique, as a part of CBM-ZEISS Global Phaco Strategy. It aims to train and strengthen eye health professionals in the continent, specialized in cataract surgery, in order to improve the quality and access of inclusive eye health for low income population.

The Center is located in Asuncion, Paraguay and it is implemented by local partner Fundación Visión, with the support of ZEISS International. Its main goal is to train doctors on the phacoemulsification technique in order to avoid preventable blindness by cataract. This project will have an impact at the regional level, as trainees will be able to implement and spread this knowledge in their different geographical contexts in the Region.

Launch event

The launch of the center took place on February 27 at Fundacion Vision in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. Attending the event were Fernando Vangioni, Executive Director of Fundación Visión Paraguay; Babar Qureshi, CBM Director Inclusive Eye Health; Rainald Duerksen, Founder of Fundación Visión and CBM Regional Community Eye Health Advisor; Regine Polynice, Director of the Regional Office of CBM for Latin America and The Caribbean; Pedro Ponce, CBM Program Officer for Paraguay and Brazil; Fabian Schindler, Project Manager Alliance Partners of CBM Germany; Martin Garay, ZEISS Latin America Manager; Seyfi Ceyhan, ZEISS Sales Director; Medical Staff of the CBM Phaco Training Center, and representatives from the German Embassy in Asunción, among others.

The importance of Phaco

Phacoemulsification is a procedure that requires a practically imperceptible surgical incision, and then uses ultrasound to emulsify the cataract, thus having a minimal affection on the cornea and reducing drastically the recovering time due to the combination of micro incision and lack of sutures. The implementation of this technique is determined after an assessment of the eye and the needs of the patient. Cataracts are the main cause of blindness in the world, training on phacoemulsification technique will help tackle this preventable condition and bring quality eye health services to low income population in countries around the region.
The creation and launch of the Phaco Training Center in Paraguay was a great example on the dedication and teamwork from CBM Germany, CBM International and the CBM Latin America reginal office carried out in collaboration with Fundacion Vision a long-term CBM partner and ZEISS a long-term strategic partner for CBM in the Inclusive Eye Health Initiative.