The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology Celebrates Dual Milestones

HCP Flagship Partner receives World Health Organization collaborating center designation on 25th anniversary

At the core of the Himalayan Cataract Project’s success is its long-standing, trusted partnership with the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Together, HCP and Tilganga have dramatically improved eye care by creating a proven model worthy of worldwide replication. HCP supports the transformational work of Tilganga and works to replicate its innovations in eye care delivery and training throughout South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

On July 22, Tilganga celebrated its 25th anniversary and was given a momentous gift - it was recognized as a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Ophthalmology (a designation bestowed upon institutions that provide expert advice and scientific and technical collaboration to the WHO). Tilganga is the first Institute in Nepal to receive this recognition in the field of ophthalmology.

The WHO collaborating center status was given to Tilganga based on three specific areas:

  • Eye care service delivery
  • Education and Training in the field of ophthalmology
  • Ophthalmic research

The WHO designation and anniversary was celebrated through an event to mark the occasion at Tilganga’s 133,000 sq ft facility in Kathmandu,which was partially constructed and equipped through USAID/AHSA support. Presenting and speaking at the event was Nepal’s Prime Minister, Mr. KP Sharma Oli; WHO Representative to Nepal, Mr. Jos Vandelaer; WHO SEARO Regional Director, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh; Tilganga CEO, Dr Reeta Gurung, HCP Co-Founder and Tilganga Executive Director, Dr. Sanduk Ruit and HCP Co-Founder, Dr. Geoff Tabin.

Tilganga Eye Care Delivery Model

Tilganga is a non-profit, community-based, non-government organization that was established in 1994 to support the control and prevention of blindness in Nepal and beyond. As a tertiary-level eye care center, Tilganga delivers a full spectrum of high-quality eye care treatment from general to more complex eye diseases and subspecialty services such as glaucoma and refractive surgery. This community-based outreach model has been replicated in several countries throughout Asia and Africa.

Patient Care

Since 1994, Tilganga has examined and treated more than 6 million patients and performed over 400,000 surgeries. Additionally, the cataract surgical procedure developed by Dr. Ruit and his team is internationally acknowledged and utilized in many countries around the world.

Education and Training

Tilgana’s education and training programs include: academic courses, fellowships in subspecialty areas and short training courses for ophthalmologists, medical students and allied health personnel. To date, Tilganga has trained 611 ophthalmologists, 732 ophthalmic paramedics, 6,916 medical students, and 10,305 community-based volunteers.


Tilganga is a leading institution in ophthalmic and vision research. To date, Tilganga has conducted 210 research projects, of which, 183 research papers have been published in national and international journals. Tilganga uses its research findings for evidence-based policy, advocacy and treatment practices.

For more information on WHO Collaborating Centers please visit:

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