Nepal Emergency Medical Relief

by Himalayan Cataract Project, Inc. Vetted since 2008 Site Visit Verified
Dr. Ruit distributing relief aid after the quake
Dr. Ruit distributing relief aid after the quake

In the days following the April 2015 earth, Dr. Sanduk Ruit, Nepal’s leading ophthalmologist and co-founder of the Himalayan Cataract Project, remarked,

“This is one of the worst natural disasters in my lifetime. There are thousands who have been left homeless in many parts of Nepal where life is much more difficult…We at Tilganga and the Nepalese people are moved by your generosity, faith, and love for the work we are doing.”

18 months later, the Himalayan Cataract Project and Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO) continue to be amazed and moved by our donors’ support, faith and love. Over the course of this project, nearly $12,000 were raised by our Global Giving donors allowing the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology relief teams to deliver critical food aid and temporary shelter to 8 of the hardest hit regions in Nepal. Over 170,000 lbs. of food were delivered throughout rural Nepal as well as basic supplies including 2,600 tarps for temporary shelter, medicine, oral rehydration solution, soap, and flashlights. Tilganga’s own doctors and staff dedicated their time and energy to delivering these critical necessities to the villages they know so well through their ophthalmologic work.

 Following the initial relief, TIO continued with phase II of its recovery plan – the repairing of damaged Community Eye Centers and building of temporary shelters in three of the hardest hit regions. This includes repairs to the Dolakha Community Eye Center and construction of a landslide retaining wall to prevent further damage in the event of future earthquakes or natural disasters. Over 110 temporary living shelters were completed to provide housing for local residents. Tilganga also provided reconstruction grants to members of its own staff who lost their houses in the earthquake to allow staff the ability to rebuild or move.

Tilganga will continue to lead the way for Nepal’s reconstruction – the work is far from over. However, the past 18 months has demonstrated the strength of the Nepalese people and their remarkable ability to overcome challenges. The Himalayan Cataract Project and Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology greatly appreciate the support of all our donors in ensuring a stronger Nepal and will continue to live up to your generosity, faith, and love through our ongoing work in Nepal and throughout the world.

Temporary Shelter constructed by Tilganga
Temporary Shelter constructed by Tilganga
Devastation in Kathmandu
Devastation in Kathmandu
Tilganga-constructed Shelters
Tilganga-constructed Shelters
Retaining Wall
Retaining Wall
Happy Patient
Happy Patient
Landslide Wall being built beneath the new clinic
Landslide Wall being built beneath the new clinic

HCP's main partner in Nepal, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology continues to work in rural communities to rebuild a stronger and safer Nepal. In Dolakha, epicenter of the second May 2015 earthquake, Tilganga is establishing landslide protection at a new prefabricated eye center recently installed by building boundary walls. These walls are built below the surface and are designed to prevent future landslides in the event of severe weather or natural disaster. In the days and weeks following the 2015 earthquakes, continuing aftershocks and subsequent landslides severely restricted aid and relief from reaching those who needed it most. These landslide walls will go a long way to ensuring the Dolakha community is safe.

At Tilganga’s 24th anniversary ceremony, Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology also recognized the challenges facing those closer to home in Kathmandu. While none of Tilganga’s staff members were killed or severely injured during the quake, however dozens saw their homes destroyed. Tilganga recently provided 40 rebuilding grants for staff members to rebuild or move. These grants ensure that Tilganga’s dedicated staff will continue to be able to provide high quality care and continue the relief efforts. 

Tilganga and HCP greatly appreciate the support of our donors in continuing to ensure a stronger Nepali future!

Landslide Wall
Landslide Wall
Earthquake Damage at Dolakha
Earthquake Damage at Dolakha

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.   

Damage to Dolakha Community Eye Center
Damage to Dolakha Community Eye Center
Making Repairs at Dolakha
Making Repairs at Dolakha
Dolakha Repairs
Dolakha Repairs
Finished!
Finished!

The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology completed the construction of 110 temporary shelters in Sindhupalchowk - the most heavily affected area of the two devasting earthquakes that took place in April and May of 2015 before the monsoon season began. The relief team will resume with an additional 100 shelters when the rain stops. 

Renovation work estimated at over $16,000 is scheduled to begin in January to repair three of Tilganga's clinics located in Dolakha, Solukhumo and Hetauda. The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology oversees 14 Community Eye Centers (CECs) and one Community Eye Hospital througout mountainous Nepal. Collectively the Solukhumbo Community Eye Center, the Dolakha Community Eye Center and the Hetauda Community Eye Hospital provide 30,000 patient examinations and over 9,000 cataract surgeries per year. Service has been compromised because of the damage and these repairs will help get them back at 100%. 

Community Eye Centers (CECs) are an important innovation in the developing world because they ensure care for the poorest and most unreachable patients. Staffed with full-time ophthalmic assistants they provide basic eye care treatment and screenings for infection, as well as referrals for patients who need more advanced care. 

Aerial view of Dolakha region after earthquake
Aerial view of Dolakha region after earthquake
Exterior damage to Solukhumbu Community Eye Center
Exterior damage to Solukhumbu Community Eye Center
Interior damage
Interior damage
Happy patient after cataract surgery in Nepal
Happy patient after cataract surgery in Nepal
Dr. Ruit speaking with earthquake victims
Dr. Ruit speaking with earthquake victims

As immediate needs were being addressed, staff from Tilganga worked with architectural students to develop temporary shelters for families who had lost their homes. With an early monsoon season approaching, Tilganga staff purchased and delivered corrugated sheets and building supplies to help community members erect temporary houses. Thanks to our generous donors, HCP has been able to fund direct material aid to relieve suffering due the earthquake disaster.

Through it all, the Tilganga Institute and its network of community eye centers and hospitals continued to provide eye care. Between April 1 and June 30, over 50,400 individuals received eye surgeries at TIO while 11,831 surgeries were performed at rural centers. In many cases the physical structures have been damaged. While assessments and repairs are underway, Tilganga has contracted with a local company to replace community eye centers in Manang, Dolakha, Rasuwa, Sindhu and Nuwakot with earthquake-resistant prefabricated buildings. HCP will be supporting this and otherefforts to add to the resiliency of our mission in Nepal. Many thanks to all who are supporting this relief and reconstruction initiative!

"We will not get back the lives we lost, but livelihoods can be restored. Historical monuments have been destroyed, but they can be rebuilt. The crisis is a huge loss to the economy, but we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs during reconstruction." - Dr. Sanduk Ruit on moving forward after the devastating earthquakes in Nepal.

A temporary shelter
A temporary shelter
Children in front of their temporary shelter
Children in front of their temporary shelter
 

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Organization Information

Himalayan Cataract Project, Inc.

Location: Waterbury, VT - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.cureblindness.org
Project Leader:
Tai Nixa Peterson
Deputy Director of Operations
Waterbury, VT United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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