Visionary eye hospital opens in Nepal
23 November 2011
The new Biratnagar Eye Hospital marks a big step toward the elimination of avoidable blindness in Eastern Nepal.
There are 852,000 visually impaired people in Nepal. At least 70% of the visually impaired could have their sight restored with adequate eye-care provision, but currently a further 59,000 become blind every year.
Helping to reach thousands more
With the opening of the Biratnagar Eye Hospital this month, thousands of people in the Eastern part of the country will now have access to eye-care. The new hospital, which was part-funded by Seeing is Believing, was opened by President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on the 15 November 2011.
Here’s what our funds have enabled:
- increased eye-care capacity and updated facilities so that more patients can receive quality treatment
- accommodation for patients and their families in a pre-operative ward, making surgical care accessible even for those who have to travel long distances
- installation of an essential waste water recycling system, vital to ensuring the hospital is hygienic and environmentally friendly
- new student accommodation to enable more training of medical workers, who can help treat the backlog of eye conditions throughout eastern Nepal.
With its new facilities, the hospital will soon become self-sustaining. Although eye-care will always be free to those who cannot afford to pay, the hospital will charge nominal fees that subsidise its costs. With its updated premises the hospital now offers a highly competitive eye-care experience, bringing in important fee-paying patients that enable its long-term charitable purpose.
Our work in Nepal
The expansion of public service capacity is complemented by our funding for outreach programmes run by Nepal Netra Jyoh Sangh. Together we bring eye-care to remote communities and schools in eastern Nepal through screening camps, community officers and radio broadcasts. Education and awareness are crucial in increasing the uptake of care, and will ensure that the Biratnagar Hospital facilities are fully utilised.