Dr. Phetsamone Indara is one of the 18 ophthalmologists of Laos, and one of two ophthalmologists serving the rugged remote northern provinces of Laos. He was born and raised in this area and currently is chief of the only “Eye Unit” in the northern provinces. Dr. Phetsamone was invited to address his peers at Stanford University Grand Rounds. The topic of his lecture was “Ophthalmologic Surgery on the Indigenous Peoples of Northern Laos in a Primitive Environment.”
He has distinguished himself as a proponent of bringing eye care to desperately ill people in those remote regions where access to health care has been limited or impossible. He has worked with the Laotian ethnic minorities who have had no access to the Lao health care system.
Trained in Laos and Thailand to become an ophthalmologist he developed with Dr. Luc Janssens of Lao Rehabilitation Foundation “Mobile Health Care in Remote Area,” an international team that brings Eye, Dental and ENT care to the diverse peoples of the Lao mountainous regions. Dr. Phetsamone does this work with no government backing and on a government salary of $80 per month.
He works during those times he can free himself from his busy position as chief ophthalmologist at the Oudomxay provincial hospital. His team is generously supported by Lao Rehabilitation Foundation and by medical volunteers from the USA.
Dr. Phetsamone was invited by Lao Rehabilitation Foundation to the Bay Area to observe and learn from ophthalmologists here, and to recruit volunteers and assistance for this program.