Nepal Eye Program was officially launched in July 1992 to support the prevention & control of blindness in Nepal and the region. Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO), previously called as Tilganga Eye Centre, is the implementing body of the Nepal Eye Program, a not-for-profit, community-based organization. With an aim to act as a model for treatment, research, and training, one of the active members of Apex Body for Eye Health, Ministry of Health (MoH), High Level Committee for Eye Health, Ministry of Health, Nepal. The TIO facility was opened in 1994. Tilganga Eye Hospital (TEH) has been a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Ophthalmology since June 2019.
TIO now incorporates six divisions that are: The Tilganga Eye Hospital with a fully modern ophthalmic facility, the Academic and Training department that runs fellowship, academic programs, short and long-term training, and exposure training, the Outreach department covering cataract screening and surgical camps throughout Nepal and some other countries abroad, Research department focusing on improving clinical as well as operational activities, Nepal Eye bank which operates an eye donation program to provide corneas to tackle corneal blindness and Manufacturing facility which produces world-class intraocular lens at an affordable cost.
In the early years, working with The Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF), Australia, TIO played a key role to help refine and adapt a practical, safe, and affordable technique of intraocular lens implant for cataract surgery in developing countries. Another key achievement in the early days was the establishment of the country’s first eye bank, in conjunction with Tissue Banks International in Baltimore, USA, and Lions International.
Another vital international association of TIO early on was with the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP), USA. They helped to run unique projects empowering local physicians to alleviate the suffering caused by blindness, including skills-transfer education, cost-recovery, research, and the creation of a network of eye care facilities.
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