Hyong Kwon Kang on behalf of the Myanmar Eye Care Project in partnership with RANZCO Eye Foundation, Australia
Developing an operating theater sterilization and aseptic pathway at the Wachet Hospital in Myanmar
The Myanmar Eye Care Project, initiated in 2002, established sterilization and aseptic protocols that the local resources could reasonably meet and sustain. However, with the introduction of modern technologies such as phacoemulsification, these practices are no longer adequate or safe. This was highlighted by an outbreak of endophthalmitis, where cross-infection from inadequate sterilization and handling of instruments resulted in many patients suffering vision loss.
The aim of this project is to upgrade the sterilization process and associated equipment at the Wachet Hospital in Myanmar, so that surgical procedures are carried out in a truly sterile and aseptic environment. Support will also be provided for the separation of dirty and clean areas to prevent contamination, the development of a system for correct labeling and storage of sterile instruments, and the training and education of local nurses in sterile and aseptic practice.
If successful, the project will help to prevent the occurrence of any further tragedies, ensuring long-term benefits for the 6,000 patients who receive eye surgery at Wachet Hospital every year, as well as the 23 local ophthalmologists who are trained via the Myanmar Eye Care Project.