Dr Trúc receiving hands-on training on the Flying Eye Hospital

International Women's Day: Dr. Trúc is leading the fight against blindness in Vietnam

To mark International Women’s Day 2021, we’re celebrating some of the incredible women in the Orbis family whose expertise and dedication is helping the next generation of women and girls reach their potential. This is Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Trúc – an ophthalmologist who is dedicated to tackling avoidable blindness in her home city of Hue, Vietnam.

Since 2014, Dr. Trúc has been working at the Hue Eye Hospital, Vietnam – a long-time Orbis partner – where she specializes in treating glaucoma.

In a small city like Hue, there are not many ophthalmologists specializing in glaucoma care. And for the surrounding communities, Dr. Trúc’s decision to come back to her home city is the difference between keeping their sight or going blind.

Dr. Trúc’s first direct experience of Orbis’s work came in 2015, where she was trained in essential clinical practice techniques – such as how to evaluate optic discs and carry out surgical procedures to treat glaucoma – by Dr. Jody Pitz-Seymour aboard our Flying Eye Hospital.

More recently in 2019 the Flying Eye Hospital made its way back to Vietnam. This time around Dr. Trúc received expert training from Dr. Lee Alward, one of our long-time volunteer faculty and world-leading glaucoma specialist. Over the course of the week, Dr. Alward shared his knowledge and skills, demonstrating how to carry out complex procedures, including how to implant drainage valves.

To prepare for the program and get the most out of her week with Dr. Alward, Dr. Trúc identified patients who needed this specialist surgery using Cybersight – Orbis’s award-winning telemedicine platform. By taking this proactive approach, Dr. Trúc was able to get the most out of her experience and deliver a more efficient and precise treatment plan for each patient.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Trúc

Ophthalmologist at Hue Eye Hospital, Vietnam

Nor­mal­ly, in our coun­try, and in the very small city of Hue, there are not very many glau­co­ma spe­cial­ists avail­able. Com­ing back to my home city (Hue) this is one of the rea­sons I trained to be a glau­co­ma spe­cial­ist. And after train­ing on the Fly­ing Eye Hos­pi­tal, I can work more con­fi­dent­ly with my patients.”

Dr. Trúc’s dedication to developing her clinical practice and passing on her skills to her residents means that more people in her local community can be treated, without having to travel long distances to a big city like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. For many farmers based in the rural communities around Hue, this is a lifeline – enabling them to continue working and providing for their families.

Strengthening Local Communities

For the past 25 years, Orbis has been working to bolster eye care in Vietnam – with the establishment of a local office in Hanoi in 2003, this work has gone from strength to strength.

The impact of our work in Vietnam is cyclical, with ophthalmologists like Dr. Trúc empowered to develop their leadership skills and share the knowledge they gain with their peers - supporting them to deliver earlier interventions and ultimately save more people from losing their sight.

We'd like to say a big thank you to Dr. Truc for being one of our inspirational #VisionaryWomen and passing her skills and expertise on to others in her field.

Find out more about some of the incredible female leaders in the Orbis family this International Women's Day..



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