Eye Health Hero: Reeta Gurung
Dr. Reeta received the award on event at Council of Members meeting 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 17-18 September.
Under Dr Reeta Gurung’s leadership, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO) has treated more than 4.8 million patients and performed more than 330,000 surgeries at Hospitals and in outreach programmes. In her time with TIO more than 5 million Intraocular Lens have been produced including PMMA and Foldable, which have been exported to more than 50 countries worldwide.
During her tenure as Deputy Medical Director at the TIO from 1994 to 2013, Dr Reeta oversaw the establishment of Nepal’s first Eye Bank, one of TIO’s many ground-breaking programmes which involved campaigning to change Hindu beliefs and build one of the most successful corneal donation programmes in the world. Dr Reeta operates as both a clinician and manager in her current role as Chief Executive Officer at TIO. She facilitates the remote area’s eye camps and has helped obtain more than 7,000 corneas. More than 60,000 people have filled pledge cards for eye donations.
She has conducted OPD clinics as consultant ophthalmologist and corneal specialist, performing minor and major eye surgeries, conducting eye camps in remote villages and abroad and teaching other ophthalmologists. She volunteers as faculty to the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital-SICS and corneal diseases and since 2003, has been an international mentor to ophthalmologists in three provinces in Cambodia. She is also Chief of TIO’s internal research review committee. Dr Reeta’s work has been published in over 20 scientific papers and has been involved with 155 projects and 139 papers published by TIO’s Research Department.
She was awarded for a short course in Tropical Ophthalmology from the Institute of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London (1990), and successfully completed the University of Wales’ Course on Clinical Refraction (1989) and Course on Lasik (2000). Dr. Reeta completed her studies in General Medicine from 1st Pavlov Medical Inst. Leningrad, USSR (1984), and obtained a MSC (Ophthalmology) from Bristol University (1990). She was awarded a fellowship in Cornea and External Eye Diseases from the Eye Hospital Rotterdam, Holland (2001) and a MSC in Community Ophthalmology from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the UK (2006).
Dr Reeta has worked across diverse and varied settings, including at the Royal Eye Infirmary, Plymouth, UK; Department of Ophthalmology, Cheltenham, General Hospital, UK; Nepal Eye Hospital and Maternity Hospital; and the United Mission Hospital.