On the banks of the Mekong River, right in the heart of Phnom Penh, sits the Naga World Resort Complex – a gilded edifice that speaks to Cambodia’s renewed sophistication in the heart of Southeast Asia. It’s a fitting metaphor for the renaissance of Ophthalmology in Cambodia and the perfect location for the 4th Annual Conference of the Cambodian Ophthalmological Society.
Present at the conference were key IAPB member organisations in Cambodia – including the Fred Hollows Foundation, Brien Holden Vision Institute, Seva Foundation, Eye Care Foundation and Takeo Eye Hospital. Each of these organisations are members of the Sub-sectoral Working Group, which has worked tirelessly to strengthen the National Eye Health Programme. Also present were representatives from RANZCO – the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists – an organisation that has perhaps done more than any other to strengthen ophthalmology in the country.
In a further sign of maturity the event was held in conjunction with the Cambodian Ophthalmic Nurse Society – recognition of the importance of other cadres in the eye health journey. But perhaps what most resonated with overseas visitors was the realisation that, unlike in other sub-specialties, Cambodians no longer need to travel abroad for their eye health needs. As Professor Meng declared in his opening remarks, “This demonstrates how far we have come in the short space of ten years.”