Labor & Workforce

Nepal’s remote communities get free cataract surgery

Manang, Nepal, Jun 8 (EFE/EPA).- Dozens of older people from remote settlements in Nepal’s Manang district received free cataract surgery to improve their vision and quality of life.

The free service is led by the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology which, as part of its outreach program, targets hard-to-reach communities to ensure they receive “equity in eye care service delivery,” the organization says.

According to the institute, there is a high prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in rural districts of Nepal because the vast majority of the people living in remote areas have no or very limited access to eye health services.

“Sometimes when a mother sees her child for the first time after surgery, these are very powerful inspirations, and what else do you want in your life?” Doctor Sanduk Ruit, who launched the Tilganga Institute in 1994, tells Epa while happily watching another patient trundle off after an intervention at Chame Community Eye Center.

The majority of older people in Manang, a district that borders Tibet (China) and has a population of around 6,500, suffer from either single or double cataract blindness, which is a dense, cloudy area that forms in the lens of the eye and causes impaired vision.

Many patients travel for up to 10 days from their homes to the field hospitals that serve as temporary microsurgery eye clinics.

Ruit administers his patients an anesthetic before performing two tiny cuts in the eye.

The doctor then removes the cloudy jelly-like lens from the patient’s eye or eyes and replaces it with an artificial one that is manufactured at the Tilanga hospital in Kathmandu. EFE-EPA


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