Himalaya Eye Hospital
Gharipatan, Pokhara Nepal
Himalaya Eye Hospital (HEH) was established in 1993 with the financial support from the Eye Care Foundation Netherlands, is being run under Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh. Its main mission is to provide comprehensive eye care services to the people residing in hilly region and to assist in the national eye care system development by producing human resources. Since its establishment, HEH has been providing services to the people of 3 zones i.e. Gandaki, Dhaulagiri, and Karnali. All these zones share the border with Tibet. The total population of these 3 zones is around 2.5 million, which accounts for almost 10% of the total population of the country. Area wise, these zones cover around 25% of the total land area in the country. All these three are hilly zones where the majority of people are poor, uneducated and underprivileged.
HEH works as a base hospital to serve the people of the 3 zones. It has a separate unit for Out-Patient Department (OPD), Training Program, In-patients Department and Operation Theatre (OT). It also has a separate paediatric OPD with Low Vision Clinic and Orthoptic Clinic. HEH has already started Special clinic e.g. Retina, Glaucoma, Cornea, and Oculoplastic and Paediatric. More than 1,20,000 patients are served annually from the hospital. HEH conducts around 8,053 surgeries (all types of surgery) annually in the hospital and 2,613 surgeries in the community in the field. Majority of patients do not come to the hospital on their own to get required services mainly due to the financial barrier and geographical difficulty. In order to provide basic eye care services to the people in their vicinity, HEH has been running primary eye care centers in 11 districts. To serve those patients who can’t come to the hospital on their own, HEH conducts different types of community-based activities in partnership with various organizations e.g. mother’s group, Rotary club, lions club, local club etc. Around 80,000 patients are provided services and around 2,500 patients are operated annually. Among the 12 district Primary Eye Care Centres, HEH conducts surgical camps every month in Baglung PECC, Gorkha PECC.
HEH conducts surgical camp in other primary PECCs every 3-4 months interval. In Karnali zone, HEH conducts surgical camp every 6 months in their district headquarters. In addition every 1-2 years interval, HEH conducts surgical camps in the communities of the districts i.e. away from the headquarter where the surgical team has to walk for up to 2 days. HEH has been focusing in training program since its establishment. HEH provides training to Ophthalmologist for Phacoemulsification surgery, Ophthalmic Assistants training, Maintenance training, Refraction training, OT management training and Low vision training. Recently HEH has been recognized as Retina Training centre. Apart from training, it has conducted research; population-based survey and also started eye bank in hospital premises.