Visitor from Cambodia

Recently we had the good fortune to have Dr Kheng Sok from Cambodia spend a week at our practice.  You will recall from a previous blog that earlier this year I spent a week in Cambodia doing volunteer work for Sight For All teaching contact lens fitting to Kheng and her colleagues at the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh.  Kheng’s visit to Australia had been arranged by Sight For All and during her time here she was mainly based in Sydney where she was doing a Paediatric Fellowship.  We could not let Kheng come all this way without her seeing Melbourne so we arranged for her to come down and visit in mid-November.


Kheng had a great time in Melbourne.  During her stay, my friend and colleague Jessica Chi arranged for her to attend a Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia (CCLSA) evening seminar as a guest of the CCLSA where the invited speaker was Dr Alex Hui from Sydney.  Alex gave a wonderful talk outlining all the possible potential uses for contact lenses in the future, such as drug delivery, biosensing and visual augmentation.  Kheng was also fortunate to spend a day with Associate Professor James Elder at the Royal Children’s Hospital.  We have had a close working relationship with James for almost 20 years and he is one of the leading paediatric ophthalmologists in Australia.  James is also a strong supporter of Sight For All and he has done a lot of work with them in the past, including hosting a visit last year from an ophthalmologist from Laos who stayed with James for 3 months.


Kheng also spent a couple of mornings in surgery with a still very much euphoric Richmond supporter Dr Laurie Sullivan where she was able to observe Laurie doing such surgical procedures as corneal transplants and cataract extractions.  It was nice that Kheng was able to catch up with Laurie, as he has done a lot of volunteer work in the past in Cambodia helping to pass on his surgical expertise to colleagues over there.  Laurie’s latest initiative is that he is currently in the process of helping to set up an Eye Bank in Phnom Penh, as at the present time in Cambodia all donor corneas for corneal transplant operations have to be sourced from other countries.