The “Vision in County” Cataract Development Program by Zeiss was officially launched in Shandong, China on September 3, 2020. At the event, the first training base was established in the Affiliated Eye Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SDUTCM).
The “Vision in County” Cataract Development Program is Zeiss’ initiative to boost medical capacity in county hospitals. At present, the number of cataract patients in China exceeds 20 million, among which nearly 600,000 are impoverished patients. Inadequate access to surgery is a prominent reason that keeps them away from necessary treatment. Improving surgical capacity by training additional surgeons and providing equipment could help to address this issue.
Zeiss launched the “Vision in County” Cataract Development Program aimed at strengthening the building of grass-roots professional ophthalmologist team, contributing to poverty alleviation, and promoting a high-quality development of eye-care and cataract surgery services. Following the initiative, Zeiss will cooperate with domestic excellent cataract surgery centers and expert teams to build cataract training bases. It will comprehensively improve the cataract treatment capabilities of hospitals at low-tier-city and county level, and at the same time, to give more patients access to high-quality cataract surgeries and restore clear vision to them.
Professor Bi Hongsheng, Director of the Affiliated Eye Hospital of SDUTCM said: “The ‘Vision in County’ initiative has brought a set of curriculum system that is applicable to the ophthalmology medical services at the primary level in Shandong Province. I believe that our training base can bring standardized cataract treatment teams for hospitals at the primary level, shift the county doctors from cataract surgery assistant to real surgeons and bring light to many more township patients. “
First training base in Shandong to benefit local people
Due to the lack of resources for eye surgery and the uneven distribution between urban and rural areas, a large number of sufferers of cataract and other blindness-causing eye diseases have no access to proper medical services in Shandong. The implementation of the “Vision in County” initiative will effectively cope with the urgent demand for training on diagnosis and treatment of standardized cataract and surgical skills by ophthalmologists in county-level hospitals in Shandong.
On September 3, the first training base of the “Vision in County” officially launched at the Affiliated Eye Hospital of SDUTCM. The first training course recruits 4 trainees from ophthalmologists in county-level public hospitals. The hospital will undertake the training and teaching tasks. The course adopts an training system that combines theory and practice, and develops personalized training programs for students, covering systematic theory of cataract phacoemulsification surgery, animal eye practice operations, 1-to-1 field surgery instructions, preoperative examination operation and report reading, observation in the outpatient clinic and operating room, surgical video analysis, case analysis, postoperative follow-up, conversation with patients, et cetera. In the next five years, the base will continue to offer specialized courses, aiming to cultivate 30 core ophthalmology doctors for primary medical institutions, thus providing an innovative and sustainable development model for ophthalmology development in Shandong Province, increasing the CSR value of the counties to 3,600.
Maxwell Liu, Head of Sales and Service China, ZEISS Medical Technology, said: “Capacity building of primary medical staff is the top priority to quicken the pace in popularizing cataract surgery. Now, we launch the ‘Vision in County’ cataract capacity building project to help county-level medical staff serve patients with a more standardized clinical pathways, and more comprehensive surgery and nursing skills.”