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The Fundación Fernández-Vega travelled to Cambodia to perform eye check-ups to different groups in the area. This has become a regular expedition in the agenda of the Foundation as it has travelled to the Asian country for the last nine years thanks to the agreement it maintains with the Apostolic Prefect of Battambang, the Asturian Kike Figaredo.

The check-ups were carried out by the team comprised of doctors Javier and Lucía Fernández-Vega Sanz and César Sierra, collaborator of the IOFV, who travelled to this avail from the USA, optometrist Javier Lozano, and accompanied by Mar Rodríguez, doctor Javier Fernandez-Vega’s wife and their daughter, María. All in all, they attended over 250 individuals at the prefecture, to which we have to add the hundred children they saw in Tahen and the workers of a textile factory of the area, all of them disabled. “They have shrapnel in their eyes. We had already seen some of them in previous years,” says Dr Lucía Fernández-Vega.

As well as the eye check-up, the doctors also performed small surgeries in those cases that required so. “For example, they operated several pterygiums, a very common pathology in that country, and removed small palpebral tumours,” says Dr Javier Fernández-Vega. “The shame is that sometimes patients do not come to their own surgery: they are afraid of not being able to work the following day, as that means not eating,” adds Mar Rodríguez.

Amongst the ocular pathologies seen in these check-ups are: refraction defects –myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia, – allergic problems and ocular dryness issues as well as high UV sun radiation-related diseases, such as pterygium, cataracts and macular degeneration.

Thus, one of the most important measures carried out by this team of professionals from the Institute in Cambodia was to provide them with approximately 300 eyeglasses – most of them donated by patients of the Institute. These were mainly for children, as uncorrected visual problems are one of the most common causes for school failure. Likewise, all the necessary drugs for all the eye-related diseases identified were given out as well as up to 100 protective eyewear to avoid sun radiation.