Lahan offers ‘cheapest’ eye care

Lahan, September 23:

The Sagarmatha Chaudhari Eye Hospital in Lahan has been earning popularity among the people across the eastern Nepal and many parts of India. The hospital offers advanced eye treatment services for a comparatively very low cost.

Eye patients can undergo operation for as low as Rs 900 in this hospital. “It costs

IRs 25,000 for an operation in India, while it costs only IRS 600 in Lahan,” said Shakuntala Devi, an eye patient from Kattihar of India.

The hospital administration claimed that services at the hospital were cheapest across the globe. It also claimed that the hospital was the second largest eye hospital in the globe. The largest eye hospital in the world is Arbinddai Hospital in India, said Sudhir Thakur, administrative officer of the hospital. He said the Chaudhary hospital carried out operations on 55,000 patients from Nepal and India in 2007 alone. Similarly, the hospital carried out eye check-up of 8,362 children in 2007.

A majority of the people visiting the hospital are cataract patients, Thakur said. He said at least 250 people undergo eye check-up in the hospital daily.

The number of patients visiting the hospital is usually high in the winter season and they have to wait for as much as three days for their turn for check-up. Over 60 per cent of eye patients coming to Lahan are Indians, Thakur said, adding that over 13,000 Indian patients underwent surgery in 2007.

German national Dr Albert Henning has been serving in the hospital since its establishment in 1982. The hospital was set up on the initiative of Dr Henning, Dr Ram Prasad Shrestha and Padma Narayan Chaudhari. “There was no electricity during the initial days. We used to treat patients by using torches and hand-operated fans,” recalled Henning.

Currently, 119 health workers including 11 doctors are working in the hospital.