Vietnamese paediatric patient Dieu talking to doctors

Improving eye care in Vietnam

Orbis began working in Vietnam in 1996, providing ophthalmic training in local hospitals in collaboration with the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology. In 2003, an Orbis office was set up in Hanoi following the launch of several long-term projects and the establishment of the country's first eye bank.

According to a Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology study released in 2015, blindness rates in Vietnam have been falling gradually over the last 20 years.

Despite this great achievement by Orbis and the wider eye care community, Vietnam continues to face obstacles in providing comprehensive eye care services, especially in rural areas. Our focus, along with our partners, is to improve the quality of care available by improving training and strengthening human resources, especially outside of urban settings.

The Problem

  • 400,000 adults

    living with blindness.

    Flying Eye Hospital project Vietnam - Patient Dung post cataract surgery
  • 23,000 children

    living with blindness.

    A young boy is screened during our Flying Eye Hospital project in Hue
  • 3 million children

    are visually impaired.

    A male patient from Vietnam has a light shone in his eyes during an eye screening

Key Achievements in Vietnam

  • Supported the establishment of 17 centers for the screening and treatment of retinopathy of prematurity
    • Of which six centers were strengthened as retinopathy of prematurity training centers
  • Contributed to the establishment of six pediatric eye care centers
  • Supported the establishment or improvement of:
    • 35 secondary hospitals
    • Eight tertiary hospitals
    • 12 vision centers
    • Two wet lab
    • One eye bank
  • Contributed to the development of 12 national-level eye care policies, guidelines, and protocols
  • Collaborated with neonatal intensive care units in 11 provinces to improve eye care for babies born prematurely.

Impact In 2023

  • 9,000 patient

    visits to eye care services.

  • 116,000 community

    eye screenings & examinations.

  • 5,600 eye

    health professionals trained.

    Orbis partners in Hue, Vietnam, training during our Flying Eye Hospital project

What's Next

Thanks to the training provided by our Volunteer Faculty, the hard work of our Vietnam team, and our partners and donors, we have seen a vast improvement in the quality of eye care in Vietnam. However, there is still a lot of hard work needed to eliminate the barriers to accessing quality and affordable eye care services.

Orbis plans to continue improving access to eye care in Vietnam through three key strategies: expanding quality pediatric eye care services in more regions across the country, strengthening human resources for eye health, and increasing the availability of eye care services for diabetic patients.

Children in Can Tho province waiting to get their eyes checked

We will have a particular focus on the following areas:

  • Supporting the development of technical services on eye care in medical examination and treatment facilities
  • Strengthening community eye care services
  • Enhancing human resources to deploy technical eye care services
  • Investing in equipment and facilities
  • Conducting evidence-based research and advocacy

Key Ongoing Projects

Thanks to the generosity of Orbis supporters, and the hard work and dedication of our teams and partners, we're looking to progress and expand the following projects:

  • Good Sight Good Life in Dong Nai Province, which is addressing vision loss due to uncorrected refractive error
  • Strengthen glaucoma examination and treatment services
  • Develop low-cost, comprehensive, models of diabetic screening in provinces with a high prevalence of diabetes
  • Increase capacity for screening and management of retinopathy of prematurity
  • Develop an integrated model for eye screening in children's annual health check-ups in the Mekong Delta region
  • Creating eye care demand by enhancing staff capacity and awareness raising among ethnic minority groups in Lai Chau Province

Our work includes developing models to ensure quality eye care and quality human resources that can be replicated and maintained by the government. The first model reflecting international standards for diabetic retinopathy – which poses a risk to four million people with diabetes in Vietnam – is in the pilot stage, with our team ready to replicate nationwide once additional funding has been unlocked.

Thanks to our partners and supporters we're making great progress in Vietnam. However, urgent support is still needed if we are to ensure our sight-saving projects help the people who need it most.



H 00004868 Vietnam


Vietnam Hue 2015 Fehp C Bugbee Huong Le Thi Thanh 46 F Vitreo Retinal Sur


Tam Screening



  • Ministry of Health
  • The National Eye Hospital
  • Hanoi Medical University
  • Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine
  • Dong Nai Departments of Health and Education
  • Tien Giang Departments of Health and Education
  • World Diabetes Foundation (WDF)
  • Ho Chi Minh Eye Hospital
  • Onsemi
  • Santen

If you are interested in working with Orbis to help improve the quality of life in communities around the world, please contact our dedicated Global Program team: [email protected].

We are especially looking for program partners in the field of pediatric eye care, trachoma elimination, strengthening human resources for eye health, gender equity, disability inclusion, internally displaced populations, and community-based primary care.

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