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From Jet Engines to Search Engines, ORBIS-FedEx-Indiana University Join Forces to Fight Unnecessary Childhood Blindness
Date:7/7/2008

Indiana University trains FedEx Fellow Dr. Phara Khauv as Cambodia's first pediatric eye surgeon

NEW YORK, July 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Phara Khauv, one of only eight ophthalmologists in Cambodia, is at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine preparing to become his nation's first pediatric eye surgeon. Selected as the third FedEx Fellow, by nonprofit ORBIS International, Dr. Khauv is in Indianapolis for two months studying under Dr. Dan Neely, an IU associate professor of ophthalmology and pediatric ophthalmologist at Riley Hospital for Children. Dr. Neely has made several trips to Southeast Asia as an ORBIS volunteer faculty member.

"Too many children and adults from low-income countries like Cambodia 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 Dan Neely. "The overarching goal of ORBIS and the FedEx Fellows program is to upgrade the skills of eye care professionals from poor nations, which brings quality eye care one step closer to the people who need it the most."

One of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is believed to have one of the region's highest prevalence of blindness, estimated at 1.2% -- or 180,000 people blind out of a population of 15 million. The vast majority of these cases are either treatable or preventable. In spite of recent economic progress, Cambodia continues to suffer from the legacy of decades of war and internal strife. The senior generation of eye doctors were tragically lost in the late 1970s during the Khmer Rouge's genocide, making Cambodia's most senior ophthalmologists alive today around 40 years old.

"I'm honored to be awarded the FedEx fellowship and to take part in ORBIS-sponsored training programs, both online, at home in Cambodia and now abroad in Indiana," said Dr. Khauv, a pediatric junior doctor and ophthalmologist at Angkor Hospital for Children, Siem
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SOURCE ORBIS International
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