June thru September is Nepal's monsoon season. Heavy rains and limited infrastructure result in fewer local outreaches. Tilganga capitalizes on these lighter months to conduct on-going training and evaluation of its domestic projects as well as conduct hands-on training programs internationally.
Dr. Reeta Gurung, Chief Executive Officer of the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, recently returned from a hands-on corneal transplant workshop in Indonesia. Tilganga has been working with partners in Indonesia since 2012. In Indonesia, cornea transplant surgery is an uncommon surgery performed only by very few skilled eye surgeons. Dr. Gurung operated on the patients, assisted by local doctors Dr. Teguh Metaputra and Dr. Muhammad Irsan, both of whom had received cataract surgical training at Tilganga. Cornea tissue was sourced from the Nepal Eye Bank.
Tilganga’s Chief Training Officer, Krishna Shrestha, along with senior nurses Sharma Sobha and Shanti Bajraacherya, conducted a hands-on Train the Trainer (TOT) program for Ophthalmic Nurses in Ethiopia. Conducted during a high-volume cataract event at Arba Minch General Hospital in southern Ethiopia, the three Nepali trainers worked with 5 ophthalmic nurse managers from across Ethiopia to demonstrate best practices and outreach management techniques.
In Nepal, Tilganga’s outreach manager, Mr. Khim Gurung along with other trainers traveled to Manag Community Eye Center, one of six community eye centers supported by HCP. Tilganga’s community eye centers play a crucial role in providing basic eye care services and education to remote communities who otherwise would not have access to any ophthalmic care. During their 1 week stay, they conducted a site visit for an upcoming surgical outreach and provided training to 13 female community health volunteers (FCHV). Tilganga’s approach of training women in the community to conduct primary eye care screenings provides both a source of income as well as an effective means of reaching women and children who might otherwise be marginalized in more traditional rural communities.
Tilganga and HCP continue to be grateful to our supporters continual support and is thankful to report an active and productive monsoon training season!
Dr. Reeta in Indonesia