Supporting Eye Care Services in Nepal’s Remote Pyuthan District

In a country working hard to stabilize and modernize, some rural Nepal citizens still spend three days traveling for healthcare services, including eye care. Establishing local, reliable eye care centers increases community stability and makes it possible for residents to access basic services.

Above: Mr. Susan Examining Patients

Below: Proposed Narendra Gayatri Eye Care Center

Until 2004, Nepalese residents in the Pyuthan District, a hilly, rural region in the mid-western region of Nepal, had no access to local eye care. To receive treatment for sight-related challenges, children were pulled from school, and parents missed work and the chance of earning a day's wage. 

Seeing the great need for services in this area, Seva opened the Nepal Pyuthan Eye Clinic thirteen years ago. What began as three rooms in a district hospital has become a multi-story building with space for operations, examinations, and training.

Mr. Susan Nakarmi, a Seva Alumni who was sponsored for Ophthalmic Assistant Training and Diploma in Community Eye Health, was born and raised in the Pyuthan District and has returned to work in the Nepal Pyuthan Eye Clinic. He played a leadership role in engaging the community to support the development of the Clinic and recognizes the importance of having locals involved in providing eye care, noting that, "All these [improvements] were possible because we were doing [a] good job and because of the trust we were able to build in the community."

More than 46,850 patients have been examined, 1,500 volunteers have been trained, 69,000 school children have had eye examinations, and more than 12,300 cataract surgeries have been performed since the Nepal Pyuthan Eye Clinic was founded.

But Mr. Susan and Seva do not want to stop there. Despite its exponential growth, there are still opportunities for increasing access to eye care services in the region. "We have worked a lot for the betterment of the clinic and the community at large," Mr. Susan explained. "My dream will be fulfilled when the people of Pyuthan district would not have to go to other districts to get eye treatment, when our center will be able to handle all the ophthalmology related cases."

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