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Mechi Eye Hospital

Eye Care Foundation Nepal

P.O.Box 2389 Tripureswor Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Nepal
  • Kathmandu
  • P.O.Box 2389 Tripureswor Kathmandu, Nepal

About Eye Care Foundation

Eye Care Foundation was born out of the need to help provide and establish good and affordable eye care in developing countries while being based in the Netherlands.

Initially this happened mainly through sending out ophthalmic teams. The support has shifted to aiding local capacity by facilitating training, improving the infrastructure by building eye clinics and donating ophthalmic equipment. We are working towards sustainable eye care. The support of the Eye Care Foundation is focused on the poorest for whom good medical care is inaccessible or unaffordable. The Eye Care Foundation has projects in the Himalayan region (Nepal), Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) and Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia).

The support we provide is most successful when networks of Eye Centres are set up in the regions with well-trained local staff, volunteers, high quality equipment, and good housing. The goal is to strengthen those networks with our project support. Over time, the networks should be able to support themselves financially and acquire the expertise to work independently. It is fundamental to integrate locally to ensure continuity and quality.

The partners receive general support and medical management from the Netherlands and through our field offices in Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia. With our support, our local partners are becoming increasingly independent in organizing and implementing the necessary eye care.


Eye Care Foundation was founded when Eyecare Worldwide and Mekong Eye Doctors joined forces in 2008. The two organizations shared the same objectives and working together as the current foundation has proved to be more efficient and effective.

Eyecare Worldwide (1984) was founded by a Dutch ophthalmologist who was moved by the plight of the high number of people who suffered from blindness that could be cured or even prevented. Mekong Eye Doctors (1993) was founded by a Dutch biochemist after he had been in Thailand to conduct eye research.

The Eye Care Foundation has supported the Mechi Eye Care Programme since 1996. Due to good accessibility and service quality, the number of patients who visit the formerly called Mechi Eye Care Centre has grown significantly:

With the help of Dutch donors and organizations, a complete and well-equipped eye hospital opened in 2009. The Mechi Eye hospital is well known for its primary eye care and the “outreach programs”. The eye hospital service extends further than the Mechi zone where 1.25 million people live. The hospital also provides ophthalmic care to the Indian population in the neighbouring Indian states of Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam and Bihar, where a total of 201 million people reside.

The Mechi Eye hospital regularly organizes eye camps. In a central location in the remote, mountainous areas they perform surgical procedures in the eye camps. Here, they operate on as  many patients as possible in a short time. During the diagnosis camps, patients are only examined and, if necessary, brought to the hospital for surgery at a later date.

Privatization of the hospital

The Mechi Eye Hospital is in the process of privatization, with independence as their ultimate goal. To achieve this they are expanding and broadening the services and activities they provide. The  Eye Care Foundation contributes the necessary resources to achieve this expansion and diversification.

New wing

In 2015, a new wing with 20 private rooms was built at the hospital. The private rooms are almost ready and will attract more paying patients and with that income we will be able to help more patients who are unable to pay for treatment or surgery.


  • Population 27.8 million
  • Two-thirds of the population lives in the mountainous areas and only 13% in the cities
  • Over 25% of the population lives below the poverty line
  • The country was hit in 2015 by devastating earthquakes and landslides
  • Agriculture is an important source of income as well as tourism
  • There are only about 150 Nepalese ophthalmologists
  • Just a handful of ophthalmologists work in remote areas.

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