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) 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), Nepal. The TIO facility was opened in 1994 and it was recognized as WHO Collaborating Centre for Ophthalmology in June 2019.
TIO now incorporates six divisions that are: The Surgi Center with full modern ophthalmic facility, Academic and Training department that runs fellowship, academic program, short and long term training and exposure training, Outreach department covering cataract screening and surgical camps throughout the 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 intra ocular 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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