Fighting blindness in Nepal | Orbis

Fighting blindness in Nepal

Orbis has worked in Nepal since the Flying Eye Hospital first visited Kathmandu in 1985. Nepal's diverse terrain has led to an unequal distribution of infrastructure, equipment, and human resources in eye health, which makes our work even more critical.

In Nepal, we have been working to build and strengthen sustainable eye care systems in communities, working closely with the local partner hospitals with a continued focus on pediatric eye care services.

The Flying Eye Hospital visit in 1985 was followed by the Childhood Blindness Pilot project in 2004 and the establishment of the first children’s eye center in 2006. In 2007, Orbis commissioned a national survey to identify gaps in eye care infrastructure and trained eye teams for pediatric eye care services. Based on these learnings, the National Program for Control of Childhood Blindness in Nepal was conducted between 2010 to 2017, aimed at reducing blindness and visual impairment among children. The Refractive Error Among CHildren (REACH) program was rolled out in 2018 to address the visual impairment among children due to uncorrected refractive error.

Lifetime Impact in Nepal

National Program for Control of Childhood Blindness in Nepal

We established the first children's eye center in Lumbini in 2006. Inspired by the success of this program, we launched the National Program for Control of Childhood Blindness in Nepal in 2010. Through the program, we further strengthened pediatric eye care services in Nepal by building the capacity of local eye hospitals.

The program developed the institutional capacity of seven eye hospitals to become fully equipped pediatric ophthalmology units and trained teams of healthcare professionals specializing in pediatric eye care. The project also helped strengthen the hospital-based and community-based pediatric eye care services and referral networks.

REACH for the Stars

The Refractive Error Among CHildren (REACH) project, rolled out in 2018, aims to reduce visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive error among school-going children and provide a sustainable and scalable solution to a shortage of care.

Orbis, along with our partners, develops teams of ophthalmic personnel and supports them with digital and clinical equipment to perform screenings in schools, and provide eyeglasses, as well as referrals for children who require further examination and treatment. This model has also been rolled out successfully in India, Ghana, and Bangladesh.

Impact In 2022

Key Achievements in Nepal

  • Supported the establishment of the first children’s eye center
  • Supported the establishment and strengthening of eight pediatric eye care centers
  • Conducted the first Mapping on Human Resources and Eye Care Infrastructure research project
  • Supported the establishment and strengthening of 28 vision centers
  • Supported the establishment of the first Pediatric Ophthalmology Learning Resource Center
  • Trained the first pediatric ophthalmologist in the country

What We're Doing Next

Our goal is to increase the availability and accessibility of eye care services in Nepal. This means working to strengthen and leverage the rural referral networks and forge partnerships with local hospitals.

We're working with two local partners to expand pediatric eye care services across the country: the Tilganga Eye Institute and the Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh.

Despite making great progress, there is still lots of hard work to be done to improve access to quality eye care in Nepal. If you want to help improve the prospects of adults and children, particularly in rural communities, please consider making a donation below.


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Our Partners in Nepal

  • Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh
  • Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology

If you are interested in working with Orbis to help improve the quality of life in communities around the world, please contact us at [email protected].

We are especially looking for program partners in the field of pediatric eye care, trachoma elimination, strengthening human resources for eye health, gender equity, disability inclusion, internally displaced populations, and community-based primary care.

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