Blindness in Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country that shares a border with Russia to the North and China to the South. With a land mass of over 600,000 square miles and a population of just over 3 million, it has the least population density out of any independent nation on Earth. This makes providing health care services challenging. Since its population is spread out widely across its territory, many Mongolians do not have direct access to medical facilities.
Surprisingly, the country has 150 ophthalmologists. However, they generally practice in and around the capital, Ulaan Baatar. Consequently, access to eye care services in rural areas remains limited.
SEE in Mongolia
SEE has restored sight in Mongolia since 1992. Our first program was led by founder Dr. Harry S. Brown. The team drove 14 hours from the capital of Ulaan Baatar, to the remote province of Hovd. There, they screened a total of 472 patients and performed 66 sight-restoring surgeries. To get a first-hand perspective of SEE’s early programs in the country, listen to our podcast interview of Col. John Blashford-Snell.
Through a partnership with the Virtue Foundation, SEE participates in the annual Virtue Foundation Surgical and Teaching Mission to Mongolia. Our volunteer ophthalmologists, along with doctors of various specialties, provide services and treatment to patients at the First Central Hospital of Mongolia.
In addition to surgeries and screenings, our doctors provide training for local staff, so that they can be better equipped to serve patients year-round.