Cataract Surgical Mission

Project Cataract Surgical Mission

• Improve vision through surgical interventions for cataract patients within the Sagaing vicinity

• Increase knowledge of patient/caregiver on infection control and post-operative care through patient education

Project Partners Sitagu Ayudana Hospital

• Cataract surgeries either through phacoemulsifcation or Extra CapsularCataract Extraction (ECCE)
• Care giver teaching sessions during post-operative ward rounds

Locations Sagaing, Myanmar
Period June 24- July 1, 2015

• 46 patients received new IOL during the cataract surgery and restored vision in
one eye.
• 46 post-operative caregiver teaching sessions during ward rounds


According to the Prevention of Blindness in Myanmar: Situation Analysis & Strategy for Change published in 2013, the major causes of blindness were cataract (53%), and glaucoma (4%), while the and major causes of visual impairment (VI) were cataract (70%), uncorrected refractive error (URE) (19%) and glaucoma (4%). PACG accounted for 84% of all blindness due to glaucoma.

Annually, approximately 80,000-100,000 cataract surgeries are performed and the annual cataract surgical rate (CSR) is around 1400-1600. The output is quite variable and depends on the motivation and skill of the existing ophthalmologists, available support staf, supply of equipment and consumables, and outreach activities. Apart from this, there are patient related factors such as fear of surgery, out-of-pocket expenditure and access to services.

After the inception of an idea for cataract surgery in 2012, MERCY Malaysia conducted its frst cataract surgical mission in Myanmar from June 24 to July 1, 2015.


The Cataract Surgical Mission was the inaugural project for Myanmar after the idea was frst mooted in 2012. This project targeted 80 adults between the ages of 21 to 50 years old with with mild to moderate cataract visual impairment. Sitagu Ayudana Hospital in Sagaing worked in collaboration with MERCY Malaysia throughout the mission duration of this mission from June 24 to July 1, 2015.

The goal for this project is to improve the overall health of the people of Myanmar while the objectives are to provide 80 cataract surgeries and 80 patient teaching sessions related to post-operative care to prevent infection or complications.

One of the challenges faced by the team was the overwhelming response from the benefciaries who showed up during the screening procedures. The team had to spend a lot of their time outside surgery to carry out screening work. However, most benefciaries were not suitable for the surgery due to over maturity of their cataract condition.