Bhutan Celebrates World Sight Day with Sight-Restoring Surgeries
October 8, 2020 was World Sight Day, an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) organizes World Sight Day, the most significant advocacy event on the eye health calendar.
Bhutan marked World Sight Day with a week of activities across five different locations focused on improving its citizen’s eye health. Teams of eye care professionals screened 580 eye patients and performed 19 sight-restoring surgeries.
HCP has been supporting the development of eye care in Bhutan since 2000. At that time, Dr. Kunzang Getshen was the only ophthalmologist in the country. With early support from generous donor Mr. Mark Daniell, HCP partnered with the Royal Government of Bhutan to develop a national eye health care program. Over the past two decades, HCP has supported specialized training for eight practicing ophthalmologists and dozens of paramedical staff, and provided support for outreach services throughout the rural and mountainous regions.
In October 2019, HCP marked the inauguration of the Gyalyum Kesang Choeden Wangchuck National Eye Centre - Bhutan’s national eye hospital. The 27,000 square-foot, modern state-of-the-art clinical training facility was built with support from HCP, Wen Giving Foundation and Tilganga and to further strengthen the national eye care system.