Doctor Sanduk Ruit Biography
Dr. Sanduk Ruit who doesn’t need any introduction has done cataract surgery of more than 100,000. He is known as the “God of Sight”.
Personal and Family Details of Dr. Sanduk Ruit:
He was born on the 4th of September, 1954 in Wolang Chung Gola, Taplejung District, Province No 1 Nepal. His early life was hard living near River Tamor near Kanchenjunga Himal.
His Father’s name was Sonam Ruit and his Mother’s name was Kesaang Ruit. Dr Sanduk Ruit wife’s name is Nanda Ruit. He has two daughters and a son. His father Sonam Wangyal added the surname Ruit as he felt nostalgic for his ancient town Ruthok in Tibet. In the Tibetan language, the meaning of Sanduk is “The Dragon of the sky”.
When Dr. was a kid, he saw his brother who died of dysentery while his sister died of Fever. He got the inspiration to be a doctor from his sister Yaangla who also died of Tuberculosis.
Dr. who is fond of music and books. Ruit considers the family to be his main strength. After 20 years of residence, the Ruit couple bought a house around Swayambhu, Kathmandu in 2009. Ruit, who go to the villages to run free eye camps rather than private practice, had to carry a heavy debt in Thaplo to buy a house.
He started his schooling at the age of 7 in Saint Roberts school Darjeeling, India. Due to the India-China war, he had to leave school and he started going to Siddhartha Banasthali school in Kathmandu. He got into class 9 directly from class 7. He got First Division in S.L.C examination of 1970 and joined Trichandra College for his High School Science. He received a scholarship to study MBBS at King George medical university in Lucknow India. He did MD in Ophthalmology from the all India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) in the year 1984.
Work Experience and Affiliations:
He worked in Bir Hospital as a general physician for 3 years. He worked in Nepal Eye Hospital for 8years. He went to Australia in 1987 for further studies.
Dream for an advanced Eye Hospital:
- Simplifying the surgical technique, delivery system, and team building
- Finding very effective system for training
- Working on affordable medical consumables e.g. high quality, low cost intraocular lenses, and
- Trying to solve the complexity of financial issues.
In June 1994 Tilganga eye hospital was established for which Dr. Fred Hollows supported him.
He founded Tilganga with the support of Fred Hollows Foundation, Social worker/ Writer Jagdish Ghimire, Nepalese actor, comedian ,writer and singer Madan Krishna Shrestha and Haribangsa Acharya, Rabindra Shrestha, Industrialist Devakar Golcha, Everest Climber Shambu Tamang, and Dr. Rita Gurung. Tilganga eye hospital is now known as Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology where they manufacture the Fred Hollows Intra Ocular Lens.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit and his team modified and simplified the use of high-quality small incision cataract surgery (SICS) in the community. It was the time when the surgery was not accepted well in remote places in Asia and Africa. SICS training slowly became a global reality in African and Asian Nations where cataract backlog was erupting.
Corneal transplantation in Nepal was limited before1994 due to the lack of donor cornea. Nepal Eye Bank established at Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology revolutionized the concept of eye donation in Nepal. Nepal is self-sufficient in cornea needed for transplantation.
Dr. Ruit is also the co-founder and director of the Himalayan Cataract Project. Co-director, Dr. Geoff Tabin and Dr. Ruit closely work in many parts of Africa, South America, Thailand, Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Pacific Islands, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, etc.
Awards and Prizes
- Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding at 2006
- Prince Mahidol award of Thailand for public health – 2007
- Padma Shri Award by Government of India – 2018
- In 2015, He was awarded the National Order of Merit Gold for his outstanding contribution to the prevention of blindness in Bhutan and the return of sight to hundreds of people.
- Prime Minister’s National Talent Award – Government of Nepal 2075
- Well known Prabal Janasewa Shri (First) Honorary Degree 2076
- Isa Award for Service to Humanity by the Kingdom of Bahrain 2023
- Service to most developing countries in the world.
- The promoter of world-renowned simple and low-cost cataract treatment ‘Ruitectomy’.
- The documentary aired on National Geographic on his work in North Korea.
- Documentary and feature broadcast on the work done in the treatment of cataracts in the villages of Nepal, including Al Jazeera, Sienna.
- People’s mindset changed by Ruit.
- A high-tech factory that makes its own lenses at a cheaper price than looking at donors
- The smallest magical piece i.e. 500,000 lenses are manufactured yearly in Nepal and is sold in 70 countries around the world.
- Dr. Ruit wants to increase the production of the lens by three times. World Famous Professor Ellen Robin, considers Ruit as another Steve Jobs who refuses to accept the status quo. Gary Bryan, an Australian ophthalmologist, thinks that Ruit restores the eyesight by performing cataract surgery and implanting a lens inside the eye as simple as Henry Ford developed a car in the United States.