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!
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.
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.
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.
Since our last Global Giving report, Nepal was devastated by two earthquakes. Our partner in Kathmandu, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, led by our co-founder, Dr. Sanduk Ruit, took immediate action, meeting the immediate urgent needs of those effected.
Tilganga provided truckloads of supplies containing food, medical supplies, tenst and linens to the most heavily damaged rural areas. At the hospital in Kathmandu, medical assistance was provided to those in need.
As monsoon fast approached, efforts shifted to creating temporary shelters to those who lost their homes in the earthquake. Temporary shelters are still being created in the Sindu area.
While Nepal and our partners continue recovery efforts, outreach in terms of cataract surgeries has been impacted, while immediate medical issues and needs are addressed.
Recovery and rehabilitation will be a long process, but work has already begun towards bringing Nepal back to its feet.
The Himalayan Cataract Project and our partners are so grateful for the support during this devastating event. In the words of Dr. Ruit, your compassion provided strength at a very challenging time.
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