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Cambodian Prince to Visit Australia for Khmer Sight Fundraisers

Mivision | 18 April 2017
Cambodia’s HRH Prince Sisowath Tesso will visit Australia at the end of May to attend two charity fundraising events in Australia in support of Khmer Sight Foundation and the Kim Frumar Cambodia Ophthalmology Scholarship.

Funds raised from the dinner events in Sydney and Canberra will enable a Cambodian ophthalmologist to obtain a fellowship in a sub-specialty, such as glaucoma or children’s eye diseases.

There are just 38 ophthalmologists in Cambodia to provide services to 15,000,000 people. An estimated 180,000 Cambodians are blind and each year a further 10,000 Cambodians lose their sight.

Khmer Sight Foundation was founded in 2015 by Sean Ngu and the late Dr. Kim Frumar, an Australian ophthalmology and vitreo-retinal surgeon who was trained by Fred Hollows for four years and completed two fellowships at Moorfields in London.

Khmer Sight Foundation’s vision is to train the next generation of ophthalmic surgeons and eye care staff in Cambodia, so that the country can become self-reliant in the provision of high quality, safe and effective eye care.

Cambodians who study ophthalmology in their own country graduate as general ophthalmologists without specific skills in any one area of ophthalmology. They are not trained well enough to take over the role of lecturer in the Residents Training Program, which is dependent on visiting lecturers from Australia, New Zealand and Holland.

To support further training of ophthalmologists, the Kim Frumar Ophthalmology Scholarship was established in 2016 by Dr. Frumar’s widow Teresa de Leon, who is a director of KSF. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) Eye Foundation Ltd, which operates as The Eye Surgeons’ Foundation, has partnered with the Foundation to raise funds for the scholarship.

KSF also provides on the ground eye care in Cambodia. In 2016 the Foundation performed more than 50,000 medical eye screenings and carried out 6,320 eye surgeries. In 2017 it plans to provide 10,000 eye surgeries, with 24 weeks of surgeries performed by over 100 international surgeon groups from Australia, the UK, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Brunei and Italy. They will also provide surgical training and lectures to ophthalmology residents and local doctors during the missions.

Prince Tesso to Attend Dinners

A board member of the Khmer Sight Foundation, Prince Tesso is Adviser to the Private Secretary of His Majesty the King Norodom Sihamoni and Personal Assistant to H.R.H Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, Director of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia. He was decorated with the Medal of Commander of the Royal Order of Monissaraphoan – Arts and Letters.

The Prince will attend the Eye Surgeons Foundation dinners in Sydney on the 31 May and in Canberra on the 2 June to raise funds for the Kim Frumar Cambodia Ophthalmology Scholarship. “The visit gives me an opportunity to say a heart-felt thank you to all the volunteers and organisations that have worked so hard to eradicate avoidable blindness in Cambodia. This scholarship will help our doctors to help our own people,” said Prince Tesso.

Funds raised in 2016 provided a scholarship to Dr. Kossama Chukmol, who has a Diploma in Ophthalmology from the University of Health Sciences Cambodia. She will undertake a glaucoma fellowship with the eminent Professor Manchima Makornwattanaat at the Thammasat University in Thailand in July. On completion of the fellowship, she will lecture on glaucoma for five years.

Tax deductible donations to the Kim Frumar Cambodia Ophthalmology Scholarship can be made through the Eye Surgeons Foundation of Australia at: www.eyesurgeonsfoundation.org.au/donations/donate/?project=14.

' In 2016 the Foundation performed more than 50,000 medical eye screenings and carried out 6,320 eye surgeries '