Health
 Nepal
Project #736

Himalayan Cataract Project: Remote Eye Camps

by Himalayan Cataract Project, Inc.
Vetted

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.

Nurse Training in Ethiopia
Nurse Training in Ethiopia

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! 

Community Health Worker Training in Manag
Community Health Worker Training in Manag
Dr. Reeta in Indonesia
Dr. Reeta in Indonesia
Patients waiting for Surgery
Patients waiting for Surgery

HCP partner, Jagadgauru Kripalu Chikitsalaya Charity Eye Hospital (JKEC), in Uttar Pradesh, India recently established a new eye hospital in Vrindavan, India. Vrindavan is located approximately 150 km south of Delhi and is considered a holy city for Hindus in India. The town lacked a charity hospital that provides high-quality eye care for those without ability to pay. With a catchment area of over 2.5 million people, JKEC built their new division to serve this population, and currently regularly now serves roughly 600-700 patients daily. In March 2016, JKEC invited the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO), HCP’s main implementing partner in Asia, to help manage the hospitals first cataract outreach. TIO’s Dr. Govinda Paudal managed the outreach at Vrindavan, which treated at total of 387 patients. The outreach also provided training opportunities for Dr. Sandhya of Vrindivan as well as over 25 nursing and optometry students in cataract outreach management and ocular anesthesia. These hands-on training opportunities are invaluable for the local doctors and staff to be able to continue providing high quality care, with and without HCP support.

JKEC Vrindavan has requested TIO and HCP’s support for at least two cataract outreach campaigns annually to reach the large number of needy patients across the district. Together with your support, we can transform eye care for this region of India.

Post-Op Patients
Post-Op Patients
Surgical Training
Surgical Training
Dr. Ruit Post-Op
Dr. Ruit Post-Op

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.

Happy Patient
Happy Patient
Supplies for Nuwakot
Supplies for Nuwakot
Excited Post-Op Patient
Excited Post-Op Patient
The Best Smile
The Best Smile

Links:

Phechik Pre-Surgery
Phechik Pre-Surgery

A Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) supported outreach was held last month in the town of Mustang in Nepal, on the border of Nepal and Tibet. The screening was organized by HCP partner institution, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, as well as the District Community Eye Centre Mustang and the District Health Office Mustang.

Four screening camps were held prior to the outreach. 500 patients were screened and 52 surgeries were completed at the outreach.

One of the patients was 70 year old Phechik. Phechik works at a Buddhist monastery, and had been bilaterally blind (blind in both eyes) for the past eight years. Villagers brought her to the outreach by bike. After surgery her sight was restored, and she was able to return to her home on her own, completely unassisted.

Phechik After Surgery
Phechik After Surgery
 

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Organization Information

Himalayan Cataract Project, Inc.

Location: Waterbury, VT - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.cureblindness.org
Project Leader:
Geoff Tabin
Director
Waterbury, VT United States
$75,803 raised of $100,000 goal
 
836 donations
$24,197 to go
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