Introduction

World Health Organization in cooperation with Nepal Government (NG) in 1980/81 carried out the most comprehensive blindness survey undertaken in any country until now. In 116 villages and wards all over Nepal nearly 40000 persons were given an eye examination and a number of ancillary studies were performed.  The survey showed that in a population of 14 million 0.84% were blind in both eyes (Norway 0.1%). Some of the causes were considered outside the reach of medical prevention or treatment but fortunately most of the blindness was avoidable. Cataract was the dominant cause with 84%. Next was trachoma with 3% It was therefore decided by WHO to start a blindness prevention project in Seti and Mahakali Zones, and with support from NORAD a 100 bed low cost eye hospital was established in Geta, near to Dhangadhi (for Seti and Mahakali Zones) for various reasons NORAD chose to have Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) take over the project from WHO. This was effected from November 1st 1985, based on agreement with Social Welfare Council and Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh.

The project was extended to Rapti Zone in 1986, where a new hospital was inaugurated early 1986. Similar projects later started in most of the Zones of Nepal, funded by foreign NGOs under the umbrella of Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh.

Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) had started to support Eye Health Program establishing the Eye Hospitals at Geta, Dhangadhi -Kailali in 1985 and later in Tulshipur-Dang in 1986.

In 1996 a dialogue was held between NCA & NABP (Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted) investigating the possibilities of NABP taking over the NCA’s role as funding partner to the Rapti Eye Hospital, Dang to deliver eye health service in Rapti Zone covering five districts (Dang, Rukum, Rolpa, Salyan and Rukum)
NABP showed interest not only in maintaining the previous eye care activities at the Hospital, but also in expanding activities in the field of Training/Rehabilitation of blind and partially sighted .

NABP took over the role of the NCA as a founding partner to Rapti Eye Hospital, Dang on 1st January 1998 to 2011 and extended its support to Eye Health Program II, Lamahi from 2012.