The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Nepal

Since the formal inauguration in April 2009, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, Nepal, continues to expand its services. With increased capacity that came with the addition of 110,000 square feet, it can treat more patients, train more ophthalmic personnel at all levels and offer more expertise and in depth support to community centers and ophthalmic teams in Nepal and around the world.

In 2011, Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology treated nearly 280,000 patients and provided 17,330 surgeries — a 33% increase over the 13,000 total surgeries performed in 2008 prior to the expansion of the facility. In 2012, more than 390,000 patients were screened and over 25,600 surgeries completed.

Tilganga Eye Centre and the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology have played a significant role in the dramatic improvement in eye care in Nepal since 1994. They has set a new standard for delivering outstanding eye care in the developing world based on its high quality, affordable services and medical education programs.

Tilganga is known for excellent and affordable eye care services, training programs for ophthalmologists and ophthalmic assistants, high-volume, high-quality outreach work, The Fred Hollows Intraocular Lens Factory, and the region’s first eye bank. Tilganga and the HCP support ophthalmic practices in numerous hospitals throughout Nepal, as well as facilities in northern India, China, Tibet and Bhutan.

By restoring sight to tens of thousands of people each year, Tilganga makes enormous contributions to the quality of individual and community life throughout the Himalaya.

HCP & Tilganga Develop Refractive Surgery Unit

In April 2012, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology officially inaugurated its new Refractive Surgery Unit offering affordable new laser technology to treat patients with refractive error.

Handling 70 to 80 cases per month, Tilganga’s Refractive Surgery Unit continues to exceed expectations.

USAID supported the renovation of the surgical unit. Revenues generated are being used to subsidize cataract surgery for those who cannot afford to pay and to offset other running costs at Tilganga.

Training at Tilganga

Since 1994, Tilganga has trained 19,381 eye care personnel from 43 countries, of which 493 are doctors. In 2016 alone, 1,625 individuals trained at Tilganga at all levels, ranging from equipment maintenance to sub-specialty fellowships and everything in between.

In 2016, HCP also supported the training of 23 ophthalmic personnel from Nepal, including 2 observerships, 3 sub-specialists, 12 ICO workshop participants (hosted at TIO in June), 4 manage

ment trainings and conference attendees. The sub-specialty observerships took place across the United States, including Seattle, Atlanta, Nebraska and Utah, where Co-founder Dr. Geoff Tabin led the International Division of Ophthalmology at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah.

“Overall, it was a great honor and privilege to have this training. The training has not only boosted my confidence but also renewed my enthusiasm and passion for the job. I would like to assure you that I shall strive to transfer the skills I gained to my residents to the best of my abilities and try to bring success in the fight against treatable blindness in Ethiopia.”

— Dr. Fisseha Admassu of Ethiopia on SICS training at Tilganga

Photos: Michael Amendolia