Training and continuing education of ophthalmologists are a key factor in the fight against preventable blindness – particularly in remote regions. ZEISS and the Christoffel-Blindenmission (CBM), along with local partner Fundación Visión, have now set up a new training center dedicated to cataract surgery in Asunción (Paraguay). This center trains ophthalmologists in the state-of-the-art surgical technique of phacoemulsification.
“With this center we are jointly establishing ophthalmic care in the region that offers patients the greatest possible level of safety,” says CBM CEO, Dr. Rainer Brockhaus. He adds: “It means that poorer people can also benefit from a better quality of treatment.” Dr. Ludwin Monz, member of the ZEISS executive board responsible for the Medical Technology segment, expands: “The new Phaco Training Center is the result of the many years of targeted collaboration between CBM and ZEISS and our local partner Fundación Visión.”
Physicians and nursing staff from the partner clinic in Asunción will be trained in the extended training center, to which ZEISS has donated two surgical microscopes and two phaco systems, among other things. In future, the new training program will be offered to physicians from all over South America.
CBM and ZEISS have been jointly supporting the eye clinic operated by Fundación Visión with equipment and training since 2013; in 2017 alone, a total of 19 physicians operated on almost 5,000 cataract patients from throughout the region. The aim of the new training center is for even more people to benefit from the best treatment. Fundación Visión will cover the costs for poor people who cannot afford the treatment.
Training and educating physicians brings huge benefits for the health and quality of life of the population. One person who has benefited is ten-year-old Ramon from José Fassardi, a village situated around 200 kilometers southeast of Asunción: Ramon had cataracts in both eyes, a clouding of the lens of the eye, and was virtually blind. He had a hard time following his lessons in school. He was operated on at the eye clinic of our local partner in Asunción using the state-of-the-art and safe phaco-technology, and now he can see again. Ramon is now a happy and eager participant in his lessons and enjoys playing football with his friends in his free time.