A young Vietnamese patient wearing an eye dressing looks out of the Flying Eye Hospital window

Where we work

According to the statistics released by Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology in 2019, Vietnam has nearly 270,000 blind people. The leading cause to blindness is cataract, followed by refractive errors and diabetic retinopathy. More than 80% of the blindness cases in the country is avoidable. Learn more about where we work and what we do.

Orbis in Vietnam

Orbis began working in Vietnam in 1996, providing ophthalmic training in local hospitals in collaboration with the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology. In 2003, an Orbis office was set up in Hanoi following the launch of several long-term projects and the establishment of the country's first eye bank.

According to a Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology study released in 2015, blindness rates in Vietnam have been falling gradually over the last 20 years. Despite this great achievement by Orbis, and the wider eye care community, Vietnam continues to face obstacles in providing comprehensive eye care services, especially in rural areas. Our focus, along with our partners, is to improve the quality of care available by improving training and strengthening human resources, especially outside of urban settings.

Map of Orbis Vietnam's operations sites

Key Achievements in Vietnam

    • Contributed to the establishment of six pediatric eye care centers
    • Supported the establishment or improvement of:
      • 35 secondary hospitals
      • Eight tertiary hospitals
      • 10 vision centers
      • One wet lab
      • One eye bank
    • Collaborated with neonatal intensive care units in 11 provinces to improve eye care for babies born prematurely.

A training session on board Flying Eye Hospital in Can Tho City in 2017

Impact In 2022

Our Strategies

Orbis plans to continue improving access to eye care in Vietnam through four key strategies: expanding quality pediatric eye care services in more regions across the country, strengthening human resources for eye health, increasing the availability of eye care services for diabetic patients and mainstreaming gender equality into all areas of our work to make sure everyone benefits equally from what we do.

We will have a particular focus on the following areas:

  • Supporting the development of technical services on eye care in medical examination and treatment facilities
  • Strengthening community eye care services
  • Enhancing human resources to deploy technical eye care services
  • Investing in equipment and facilities
  • Conducting evidence-based research and advocacy

Funduscopy for a diabetic patient in Tien Giang province

Key Ongoing Projects

Thanks to the generosity of Orbis supporters, and the hard work and dedication of our teams and partners, we're looking to progress and expand the following projects:

  • Good Sight Good Life in Dong Nai Province, which is addressing vision loss due to uncorrected refractive error
  • Strengthen glaucoma examination and treatment services
  • Develop low-cost, comprehensive, models of diabetic screening in provinces with a high prevalence of diabetes
  • Increase capacity for screening and management of retinopathy of prematurity
  • Develop an integrated model for eye screening in children's annual health check-ups in the Mekong Delta region

Our work includes developing models to ensure quality eye care and quality human resources that can be replicated and maintained by the government. The first model reflecting international standards for diabetic retinopathy – which poses a risk to four million people with diabetes in Vietnam – is in the pilot stage, with our team ready to replicate nationwide once additional funding has been unlocked.

Thanks to our partners and supporters we're making great progress in Vietnam. However, urgent support is still needed if we are to ensure our sight-saving projects help the people who need it most.

Children in Chau Van Liem Secondary School in Can Tho City.

Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again