Sustainable community eye health care in Nepal

Written by Admin, published on April 25, 2017 Donate Today

Operation Eyesight’s work in Nepal goes back to 1973, when we established the Nepal Eye Hospital, the first full-fledged eye hospital in the country. We also played an instrumental role in establishing and/or renovating five other eye hospitals in Nepal, before withdrawing from the country to focus our blindness prevention programs elsewhere.

In 2016, after over five decades of success in India, we expanded our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Program (HBCEHP) to neighbouring Nepal after receiving requests for support from our former hospital partners. After conducting a needs assessment of the hospitals, we decided to re-enter the country in partnership with Nepal Eye Hospital in Kathmandu and Fateh-Bal Eye Hospital in Nepalgunj.

Man in a basket
When the elderly lose their sight, their independence suffers. This man is transported over uneven roads in a basket strapped to a younger man’s back.

To launch our program in Nepal, we assessed the level of need for the implementation of our program. Once this was completed, an action plan was created and consisted of:

• Training hospital staff to provide quality eye health care;
Training 36 government primary health care workers to conduct door-to-door surveys in their communities;
• Renovating the hospital facilities to not only provide better eye care services, but also to increase capacity; and
• Establishing our first vision centres in the Bardiya District of mid-western Nepal, a region where many people suffer from avoidable blindness. Vision Centres are permanent facilities where patients are screened for low vision and other eye health problems, fitted for prescription eyeglasses as needed, and referred to the base hospital for specialized care such as sight-restoring cataract surgery.

The results? Our model HBCEHP strengthened our partners’ abilities to conduct community outreach programs and provide quality eye care services to more people. In 2016, the hospitals together screened over 250,000 patients, dispensed almost 18,000 pairs of prescription eyeglasses and performed nearly 15,700 sight-saving surgeries. Our Nepalese partners made great progress in 2016, and we’re excited to expand our work with them in the coming years!

opening ceremony of the newly-renovated operation theatre in Nepal
Opening ceremony of the newly-renovated Operation Theatre Complex at Nepal Eye Hospital, Kathmandu.

Our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health projects are essential to eliminating avoidable blindness on a sustainable basis, and these projects would not be possible without our donors’ ongoing support. To help us continue delivering these projects, please consider giving a gift through our Gift Guide or signing up to become a monthly donor. Thank you for helping us give the gift of sight to those who need it most!

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