Health  Nepal Project #736

Himalayan Cataract Project: Remote Eye Camps

by Himalayan Cataract Project, Inc.

Cataract outreaches in India result in 925 sight restoring surgeries!

The Himalayan Cataract Project and Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology are long­standing, trusted partners whose close collaboration with other organizations is essential in carrying out effective and successful projects. HCP and Tilganga share a binding, core philosophy that they bring to collaboration with each of the partners they engage: the belief that the elimination of needless blindness is fundamentally a human right. Partners with this shared goal help HCP strengthen its mission to eliminate preventable and curable blindness.

In our most recent cataract outreaches in India, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology and Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya Hospital jointly organized two cataract campaigns with support from HCP and the Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) USA, from September 14-16 in Vrindavan and September 18-20 in Mangarh (Uttar Pradesh), India providing a total of 925 cataract surgeries, including four for children. The success of these outreaches can be attributed to the high quality care provided by Tilganga and Jagadguru Kripalu and financial support of SEF, USA.

Sankara Eye Foundation, USA was founded in 1998 by Mr. K. Muralidharan, Mr. K. Sridharan, and Mr. Khushnood Ahmad, whose vision was to eradicate curable blindness in India. Anil Lal has played an instrumental role for SEF, USA in developing the partnership with HCP. According to the SEF, USA website, their goal is to support, SEF, India and raise funds for surgeries as well as capital funds to build specialty eye-care hospitals across India. Their mission is to reach India’s rural and poor populations to provide quality eye care free of cost. SEF India is currently building its 9th operationally self-sufficient specialty eye care hospital with plans for further expansion in the near future.

HCP Partners complete two successful cataract campaigns in Ghana, providing 269 sight restoring procedures

In May, HCP partner Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and the Holy Family Hospital organized a five day cataract surgical outreach campaign in Techiman, Ghana where 232 cataract surgeries were performed. Individuals served ranged from 7 to 97 years of age, including 26 year old Janet from Kofoso located in the Kintampo South Constituency of Ghana. Janet’s sight was restored after living with cataracts in both eyes for 10 years and being told she would never see again.

The Holy Family Hospital is part of the National Catholic Health Service (NCHS) and also a member of Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG). The hospital has a staff of 357 various medical and administrative professionals with 198 beds. This is the hospital’s third outreach of the year with plans for further outreach, “It is our wish that together we can work towards making this project bigger and better,” Edgard, KATH Eye Center Records Keeper.

 The next HCP-supported campaign was organized by Tamale Teaching Hospital with the Mathias Catholic Hospital in Yeji, Ghana from July 9 - 14 providing 37 cataract surgeries. Yeji is a town located along the Volta River in the Atebubu District in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. Because of the proximity to the Volta River, difficult to reach populations located along the water were accessed in this maiden effort, which sometimes required boats to get to villages to conduct cataract screenings.

 With the combined efforts in Techiman and Yeji a total of 269 successful sight restoring procedures were recently performed. In the past couple years, HCP has expanded its reach in Ghana to include partnerships with the Tamale Teaching Hospital in the Northern region, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra and Operation Eyesight Universal, a Canadian INGO also working to reduce needless blindness in Ghana. For more information on our work in Ghana click here.

Patients awaiting cataract surgery
Patients awaiting cataract surgery

The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology and the Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj Hospital (JGC) were recognized in the online Indian news outlet Live Uttar Pradesh for their collaborative work conducting an eye camp in Mangarh, India. The 4-day surgical campaign took place from March 4th-7th, during which 708 cataract patients received sight-restoring surgery.

The event was led by Tilganga’s Dr. Govinda Paudyal and Dr. Sridevi Das of Madhya Pradesh, who performed the surgeries and provided treatment to eight additional patients with non-cataract related eye problems.

The free eye treatment camp was inaugurated by the President of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj, Smt Dr Vishakha Tirpathi along with council members Shayma Tirpathi and Krishna Tirpati.

Post-op patients receiving sunglasses
Post-op patients receiving sunglasses

Two outreaches were held at the end of 2016 in India. Four days were spent in Mangarh, where a total of 723 cataract surgeries were completed, and two days were spent in Vindraban, where 359 surgeries were completed. The outreach was organized by the Himalayan Cataract Project, Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, and JGK Mangarh and Vindraban.

Since 2004, the Himalayan Cataract Project and our flagship partner in Kathmandu, Nepal, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, have treated over 200,000 patients and provided over 24,000 sight-restoring surgeries in Northern India.

The Himalayan Cataract Project and Tilganga have drastically improved eye care by creating a proven eye care model worthy of worldwide replication. Our top priority is to reach the greatest number of unserved blind people, with the highest quality care at the lowest cost possible.

More outreach events are planned throughout the coming months and we look forward to sharing more photos and stories from the field!

Over the course of 10 days, partners from the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Nepal traveled to Myanmar to work with local ophthalmologists to provide over 500 sight-restoring surgeries, 60 in Yangon and 482 in Phyu.

In addition to the surgeries provided, the surgical interventions are a unique training opportunity for local doctors and trainees. Ten ophthalmologists participated in hands-on surgical training in Yangon with an additional 20 observing, and nine ophthalmologists participated in Phyu. 

The Himalayan Cataract Project began working in Myanmar in 2014, when the government of Myanmar invited HCP co-founder, Dr. Sanduk Ruit, to strengthen the country’s ophthalmic capacity. To help these efforts, HCP successfully secured a USAID grant to provide state-of-the-art equipment for the Yangon Eye Hospital.  HCP also supports the training of eye care personnel at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology and additional locations.

A full story of HCP’s work in Myanmar is featured in USAID’s Frontlines news, How to Start a Medical Revolution.


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Organization Information

Himalayan Cataract Project, Inc.

Location: Waterbury, VT - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Geoff Tabin
Waterbury, VT United States

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