Many people living in remote areas of Nepal suffer hardship as a result of vision loss. This can have a devastating physical, social and economic impact.
Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology provides a unique service to people in the most remote areas of the country. To reach populations such as these, TIO has developed an outreach program for eye examination and cataract surgery delivery.
TIO conducts Outreach Microsurgery Eye Clinics (OMECs) in difficult to access and hard to reach areas of the country.
Eye clinics were initially established to reach the under-served population in remote, difficult to reach areas by providing comprehensive eye care services on a temporary basis.
A medical team from Tilganga packs the hospital bus with the necessary surgical equipment that they’ll need for their microsurgery eye clinics and then travels to the remote area.
Some areas are so difficult to access that the medical team will then need to trek in, carrying the hospital equipment on their backs. Getting the word out about an upcoming eye camp is generally done through a variety of different channels.
Because of Nepal’s geographical terrain radio announcements from local FMs have been found effective to disseminate eye-health education specially in the hills and mountains.
Tilganga’s outreach program evolves around eye examination and cataract surgery delivery. Patients are screened and treated with a post-operative follow-up and discharge instructions for postoperative care.
A further follow-up is scheduled a month after the OMEC and those patients who return are examined and treated if needed to be.
Those patients requiring special eye surgeries or further investigation can be referred to the nearest Community Eye Centre.
It also gives TIO an opportunity to provide eye medicines and glasses to people who need them free of cost, or at a cost that poor people can afford.
There are about 20 Outreach Microsurgery Eye Clinics conducted each year in remote areas of Nepal alone.
Medical teams from Tilganga also travel into neighboring countries, who have neither the financial means or resources to provide good quality eye care.
Regular OMECs are held in Tibet, Bhutan, North Korea, Bangladesh, Burma, India, Ghana, Ethiopia, Indonesia etc.