RURAL EYE CLINIC IN NEPAL - Eye Health Nepal

RURAL EYE CLINIC IN NEPAL

Rural Eye Clinic: Need, Opportunity and Readiness

Author: Pushpa Babu Basnet

Due to lack of proper consumption of health services in the remote Himalayan district Solukhumbu of Nepal and the general community is not getting health services due to various difficulties. Although it is mandatory to have health care access to every place in the district, it has not been managed to effectively expand the service flow at the local level. Access to health care Under the right to health, every citizen has the right to receive free health care from the state and to ensure that no one is deprived of emergency health care. When it comes to overall health care, there is also a need for eye health care at the rural municipality level.

Rural Eye Clinic Nepal



Looking back at the state of eye health care in Solukhumbu district, before the introduction of eye care services, there were no special facilities for eye care and affluent eye patients used to go to Kathmandu and other eye hospitals in the country for treatment at huge cost. Remaining poor peoples were unable to get treatment for eye problems and were forced to live with low vision and the blindness.


Keeping these aspects in mind, the World Health Organization's slogan "Right to Sight for All" has been embodied in the District Community Eye Center to extend eye services to rural and remote areas. The District Community Eye Center is being run in collaboration with Health and Environment Services Solukhumbu, local organizations and the Himalayan Cataract Project. Since its inception, the center has provided eye care to more than 87,000 peoples and cataract surgery to 1423 patients by 2018. However, eye services have not reached the rural level of the district. Therefore, in order to effectively expand the eye treatment service up to the rural municipality level, the concerned rural municipality should take the initiative to expand the service under its own ownership.


There are many causes of eye problems. There are many instances where the eyes have lost their sight forever due to untimely treatment due to some problems. Cataracts, glaucoma, infections of different parts of the eye, Refractive errors, injuries, physical diseases, etc. are diseases that cause blindness. Most eye problems can be treated with medication, surgery or spectacles if treated early. Eye problems can occur from birth to old age.


According to a survey conducted in the health sector, blindness and low vision are found to be the health problems of the people. Similarly, according to the Nepal Blindness Survey 1981 and the RAAB Survey 2010, about 1 percent of the total population of the country has been found to be blind. Ninety percent of the blind live in rural and remote areas. According to the survey, 31 percent of the population in remote areas of Nepal have some form of eye problem and 60 percent of the population over the age of 35 need glasses to increase their close vision. Of those with the problem, 12 percent have low vision and 0.84 percent have blindness.


There is no denying the fact that 65 percent of the blind are due to cataracts and 10 percent of the total population have vision problems.


According to the latest data from District Community Eye Center Solukhumbu in 2018, the problem of error of refraction is 31%, the problem of conjunctivitis is 20%, the problem of wearing spectacles for near is 11%, the problem of conjunctivitis is 5.7% and Other problems include cataracts, lid disease, corneal ulcer, lacrimal problems dry eyes, injuries, infections of other parts of the eye, retina and optic nerve disease, low vision and various other eye problems.


Similarly, child blindness is also a problem. If the blindness in children is not treated in time, it will be develop as a Lazy Eye, which can not be treated if its too late. Which is having a negative impact on the country and the local level in terms of education, economy and society. Visual impairment is a major problem. Many children also suffer from low vision and blindness due to uncorrected refractive errors. With more than 70 percent of the population living in rural areas of Solukhumbu and lack of eye care services in rural area and majority of human resources in the field of eye care work in Kathmandu and other major cities. This district has very few eye health technicians in whole districts, but the number of eye care professionals is almost zero in rural municipalities. Therefore, a large population of the district is deprived of eye treatment services.


In order to identify and solve all these problems, the only eye treatment center in the district and the eye camps being run from time to time have not been able to reach out to the general public living in rural areas. There is a need for a separate eye treatment center (Rural eye clinic) on the part of the rural municipality itself as the central and provincial governments have not been able to provide eye care services permanently and the manpower available in the district is not sufficient.


Provisional, therapeutic, preventive and rehabilitation arrangements for eye services will be made in the general communities within the rural municipality concerned with the eye treatment service which is currently limited to only one place in the district. Arrange training for skilled manpower required in the clinic (Ophthalmic assistant, eye health worker, optical dispenser and others) and manage the rural eye clinic with the necessary equipment and materials, provide the required spectacles and medicines at affordable prices and specialize at the concerned village level. If the service is needed, treatment service can be provided in coordination with the eye center. In addition, to organize eye health training and orientation programs for all stakeholders, health workers, school teachers and volunteers, to form a rural eye clinic management committee and to make necessary economic development plans for the long term of rural eye clinics and to expand, upgrade and upgrade eye services. The potential for long-term planning is equally strong.


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