Gift of sight


For those bestowed with the blessings of sight, the world is a tempting place to live, if only just to behold. However, for those bereft of sight, the prodigious gift makes little difference even if nature showered its largesse with all its benevolence.

Is then there a harsher bane than to be devoid of light that makes life worth it? Ask the visually impaired who can see but only the pitched darkness of their anguished existence — all dark and dreary. You can almost read from glint in their eyes, which speaks the most poignant epic of their desperation ‘to see’.

Within a decade, the Tilganga eye centre has built itself as the haven for the sightless, giving them the most desired bequest of life. The project, that was completed in the year 1994, stands today as a mammoth of an eye-care establishment, providing services to all sections of society.

To make its services accessible to all, it also conducts mobile camps all the year round, providing free services for those who can’t afford it. The eye care services include treatment of glaucoma, retina, cornea and neurological defects in the most advanced advanced technology in eye care services.

And while thousands of visually impaired people get back to their visually blessed lives, the medical workers in the centre cross frontiers to redeem sightless people living in far off lands too. The eye-care team of the hospital has travelled in over 40 countries conducting training workshops for cataract operations in Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Korea, Thailand, and China among others.

The suture-less cataract surgery is the process, which isn’t available in many of these countries and applies conventional surgical method to cure visual deficiencies and defects. The suture-less cataract surgery is the most advanced technology in the surgical procedure available in the centre along with refractive surgery technology that cures visual deficiencies, without later having to use optical lenses.

Tilganga Eye Centre conducted a cataract surgery workshop in the Pyongsong, Sariwon and Pyongyang cities of Korea in joint association with the Ministry of Health of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in June. The workshop was attended by a doctor and five support staff from the centre and 1,048 cataract patients were cured during the workshop. Over 150 doctors and 100 medical attendants participated in the workshop. Fred Hollows Foundation, Himalayan Cataract Project, USA and Swiss Doctors also supported the workshop.

Sharing experiences of the training workshop in Korea, Dr Sanduk Ruit, Medical Director of the centre said, “The workshop has helped us broaden the reach of special system for effective delivery of eye care services far and beyond. The workshop has helped to eliminate the bane of visual deficiency not only in the Korean cities but also the in the remote regions in far off countries.”

Adds Dr Ruit, “This has helped us earn a glorious name for our country. We are proud that we were able to build a different identity for Nepal.”

Making a name:

Founded in 1994 by the HCP co-director, Dr Sanduk Ruit, the Fred Hollows Foundation, and the Jogmon Kongtrul 3rd Rimpoche Trust, Tilganga was the first outpatient cataract surgery centre in Nepal. It is now the region’s preeminent centre for cataract microsurgery, using intraocular lens implant technology, a technique introduced by Dr Ruit. Tilganga has become well known throughout the Himalayan region for its high-quality, affordable eye care services