The Dolakha region was devastated by the two earthquakes that hit Nepal in 2015 with the epicenter of the second quake being very close to Dolakha. A rugged mountainous area roughly 135 km from Kathmandu, Dolakha reported over 800 people killed and 2,400 people injured. The Dolakha Community Eye Center was damaged in the earthquakes and repairs were needed to ensure safety and continued hospital operations. Dolakha Community Eye Center - one of the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology’s 14 satellite centers throughout rural Nepal - has been providing the region with affordable eye care services since 2003.
The Dolakha Community Eye Center building suffered damage structurally though the overall building foundation remained sound. The repairs made were for several wall cracks, and plaster and tile damage, as well as waterproofing the basement against water seepage from damage. Repairs were made and completed in early March 2016.
The Himalayan Cataract Project and the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology truly appreciate all the donors who made these repairs possible. Community Eye Centers are a vital component of our shared goal to reach everyone throughout rural Nepal with sight-saving eye care and education. With these repairs, the Dolakha Community Eye Center staff and patients can return to a safe building and services can resume 100%. Thank you.
HCP’s largest partner in Ghana, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Eye Center, has been steadily expanding its outreach efforts to increase access to cataract surgery to those living in regions with no ophthalmologist. Earlier this month the KATH outreach team conducted its largest cataract campaign to date– providing 402 cataract surgeries in Keta, a coastal town 3 hours east of Accra. HCP co-founder Dr. Geoff Tabin joined the team including KATH ophthalmologists Dr. Seth Lartey, Dr. Amos Aikens, Dr. Akwasi Ahmed and many hardworking nurses and assistants who worked tirelessly for five days from 7: 30 AM to nearly midnight each night.
Dr. Tabin commented, “The quality of the surgery has been excellent with great surgical results – by far the best I’ve seen in Ghana!” There were many shining eyes and happy tears of joy on post-op day, including two women who had been blind for over 10 years, and a young 28-year old mother who hadn’t been able to see her youngest child. Tears of joy flowed watching this young mother see her child for the very first time.
HCP greatly thanks our donors for helping make these outreaches possible. With less than 70 ophthalmologists in the entire country, too many Ghanaians are without vital eye care services. These cataract outreaches help bridge the gap by provided eye health services where they are needed most.
2015 has been a year of tremendous challenge for Nepal. Since the two devastating earthquakes in April and May of last year, so much has changed, including the very landscape of Nepal itself. One thing that remains consistent are HCP’s and our partner institution’s, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, commitment to reaching those who most need care. In the last quarter of 2015, Tilganga’s outreach program provided over 1,500 cataract surgeries to patients across Nepal and northern India. This includes 288 surgeries in Nuwakot and 102 surgeries Dolakha – two of most devastated regions by last year’s earthquakes. We are so proud of the TIO team. Dr. Sanduk Ruit and Tilganga’s work was also profiled, In 5 Minutes, He Lets the Blind See, by the New York Times’s Nik Kristoff . HCP is incredibly proud of Tilganga’s team.Tilganga Their resilience and work ethic is evident and despite what they have been through, they continue to provide cataract surgery to those most in need in Nepal.