Dec 29, 2023

Support for an ophthalmological examination project utilizing a remote examination system in Cambodia

~ Contributing to the detection and treatment of cataracts, etc. ~

Sustainable Patient-Centric Healthcare Global Health Social Contribution Healthcare

CHUGAI PHARMACEUTICAL, in collaboration with AMDA-MINDS (AMDA Multisectoral and Integrated Development Services) *¹ and en Vision*², provided support for a project to tackle early detection and education of eye diseases conducted from July 31 to August 24, 2023 in Cambodia, where the shortage of ophthalmologists in local communities is a problem.

Background of the project
The prevalence of blindness in Cambodia is estimated to be 0.37% in the general population and 2.5% in the population aged 50 years or older. The number of people with blindness is expected to increase in the future due to population growth, advanced aging, and extended life expectancy. Moreover, 92.2% of causes of blindness are preventable, of which 80.9% are treatable and 11.3% are preventable. Nevertheless, approximately 60% of ophthalmologists are concentrated in the capital city of Phnom Penh, and the rest of the country has a significant shortage of ophthalmologists. The number of ophthalmologists is 5.12 per 1 million people, about half of the 10 recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Against this background, ophthalmological examinations utilizing a remote examination system are being sought in Cambodia. *³

Details and results of the project
The project is an effort to conduct remote ophthalmologic examinations using smartphone-equipped ophthalmic medical devices and other equipment and communicate the results immediately to residents. The three-item examination, including visual acuity test, refraction test, and anterior eye test, was conducted for the residents of Kandar State aged 20 years or older, and a total of 117 people participated in the examination. Of the 79 patients (including those who had already visited the hospital) who had some abnormalities as a result of the screening, 19 actually visited an ophthalmologist because they wanted to visit the ophthalmologist, and 9 and 5, including 7 patients who eventually underwent cataract surgery, were prescribed eye drops and eyeglasses, respectively.

In a questionnaire survey of participants, 98% of those who underwent the health checkup answered that they “would like to participate in similar health checkups if any in the future. ” We confirmed a high need for health checkups, and health centers, nurses, and local support staff who performed the screenings also expressed their wish to continue the practice. An employee of en Vision explains, "We believe that this project contributed to increasing the implementation rate of ophthalmological examinations in remote areas of Cambodia. I would like to continue working to improve the health of local residents."

Although the total number of participants slightly fell short of the original target of 150, it not only contributed to the detection and treatment of ophthalmologic diseases, but also confirmed the efficacy of telemedicine for the early detection of cataract, the leading cause of blindness in Cambodia.
We will continue to support efforts to further expand access to ophthalmology care for Cambodians.

Provided by: en Vision

Provided by: en Vision

*1; AMDA-MINDS (AMDA Multisectoral and Integrated Development Services)

*2; en Vision

*3;  JICA Ophthalmic Remote Diagnostic Service

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