25 June The People Eye Care Foundation (PECF)
The PECF is a voluntary welfare organization helping poor people with blindness, especially if caused by cataracts. The PECF team offers free cataract removal surgeries, treatment of diabetic retinopathy and training in the methods of natural eye vision improvement, at remote community hospitals throughout Thailand where such treatments are not readily available. This may be because the provincial hospital does not have specialist physicians able to perform such treatments or the necessary equipment, or if the treatment is available there is a lengthy waiting period, restricted budgets and heavy workloads meaning patients may not receive treatment until it is too late and they have become permanently blinded.
In most cases, the patients receiving help from the PECF cannot afford to travel to tertiary level health care facilities where treatment would be more readily available. Without help from the PECF team patients in these remote communities face many hardships caused by impaired vision and blindness which may include the inability to work and maintain a living leading to isolation, loneliness, a sense of hopelessness and depression.
Since 2014, the PECF has been providing help and support to the resident medical team at the Tipitaka Eye Hospital in Myanmar.
Each cataract removal surgery costs on average 7,000 baht (200 USD) – this includes a replacement intraocular lens (5,000 baht), sterilized surgical equipment, pre-and – post operative medication and transportation by bus for the team.
The PECF teams of ophthalmologist surgeons, nurses and non-medical volunteers operate on between 80– 20 eyes over a 3-day period during a typical monthly eye mission.
Since being established 27 years ago, the PECF has restored vision to over 35,000 eyes.
PECF Fundraising Projects:
The ‘Eat Pad Thai to help pad-Thai-eyes – กินผัดไทยช่วยคนให้มองเห็น๗’ project
… for schools, embassies, chambers of commerce, community groups, businesses and individuals
We are asking schools, embassies, community groups, associations, businesses and individuals to organize Pad Thai Lunches or Parties where they charge a high ticket price for a dish of delicious Pad Thai – a relatively cheap meal to prepare – the difference generated by the event is then donated to the People Eye Care Foundation.
The British Women’s Group organized a Pad Thai Lunch in September at the British Club which raised 31,000 baht – enough to pay for 5 cataract extraction operations at the PECF eye camp in Sawankhalok Hospital, Sukhothai province.
… for Thai Restaurants
We are also asking Thai restaurants in Thailand and overseas to add a surcharge (e.g.1, 5, 10 or 20 baht in Thailand, 1 GBP, 1 USD or 1 EURO in overseas countries) to their Pad Thai dish. They will include a remark on the menu advising that the surcharge is optional and if the customer agrees to pay it, a donation will be made on their behalf to the PECF to help cover the cost of restoring eyesight to those blinded by cataracts.
The Photo-Logo 1 Million Baht Challenge
The PECF has a furry mascot called Nicholas Bear. Last year, after mentioning he was experiencing blurred vision in his right eye, the PECF team removed a cataract which had been causing the problem.
Nicholas Bear is so happy to be able to see clearly again he wants to help others have the same experience and has created a fundraising project to raise 1 Million Baht for the PECF. He is hoping that companies and schools will support his Photo-Logo 1 Million Baht Challenge by making a donation (5,000 to 10,000 Baht) for a unique promotional photograph.
Nicholas Bear will visit companies (or schools) and help create a very special photograph. He will happily wear uniforms or t-shirts (he enjoys dressing up), pose in team photographs and promote products and company brands and logos.
The Photo-Logo 1 Million Baht Challenge is a fun way to support the PECF – the more creative the photograph the better. The ‘Photo-Logo’ picture will be posted and shared on PECF’s social media with a message of thanks.
Angela Stafford (Mobile: 0830 616622)
International Development Coordinator
มูลนิธิพิทักษ์ดวงตาประชาชน People Eye Care Foundation
2 Soi Soonvijai 7, Bangkok Hospital, 5th Floor, New Petchburi Road, Bangkok 10320