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California Eye Surgeons Journey to Vietnam to Perform Sight-Saving Surgery
Date:3/27/2008

FedEx Fellow completes fellowship at Stanford University and returns to Vietnam to lead pediatric ophthalmology department

NEW YORK, March 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three leading California eye surgeons will travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to participate in a sight-saving mission April 14 - 18 on board the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital -- a state-of-the-art medical and teaching facility housed inside a DC-10 aircraft. Invited by ORBIS International, a nonprofit global development organization whose mission is to preserve and restore sight by strengthening the capacity of local partners in their efforts to prevent and treat blindness, each surgeon will work alongside Vietnamese ophthalmologists to provide advanced training in their areas of ophthalmic expertise.

The surgeons are:

-- Dr. Douglas Fredrick, pediatric ophthalmology, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford (Palo Alto)

-- Dr. August Reader, neuro-ophthalmology, California Pacific Medical Center (San Francisco)

-- Dr. James Brandt, glaucoma, University of California, Davis (Sacramento)

Like many emerging nations, Vietnam has a high rate of avoidable blindness and is working hard to provide quality eye care service to its entire population. There are half a million blind people nationwide, with the majority living in rural areas. Access to quality eye care is limited, as most ophthalmologists practice in the major urban centers. In the rural areas, health workers are usually nurses, who have minimal instruction in eye care and possess scant resources for blindness prevention and treatment.

"Too many children and adults in middle- and low-income countries unnecessarily lose their sight because they do not have access to doctors and medical interventions that are readily available in the United States," said Dr. Douglas Fredrick, a clinical professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at Stanford University who has made several trips to
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SOURCE ORBIS International
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