Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, Dang Branch, was established in 2041 B.S. (1984 AD) as an 11-member committee. Since 2050 B.S. (1994 AD), it has been functioning as a legally recognized branch. Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, Dang Branch, in collaboration with the Government of Nepal and external donor agencies, has achieved significant progress in the prevention of blindness (visual impairment) through the establishment of eye hospitals and treatment centers in the Rapti Zone, benefiting the visually impaired population in five districts. As a result, the prevalence of visual impairment in the Rapti Zone has decreased from 0.87% to 0.13%. The program initially provided eye care services to approximately 50,000 visually impaired individuals annually, and now it has extended its services to more than 300,000 individuals, including cataract operations for 1,300 people, providing them with new vision. In recognition of its significant contribution to eye care services, Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, Dang Branch, has been awarded the “Netra Jyoti Samman Puraskar” (Eye Health Honor) and strives to establish the program nationally and internationally.
The program’s recent developments include the restructuring of the Rapti and Bardiya eye care programs in accordance with the Operational Plan of the Fiscal Year 2076/77 (2019/2020), the reestablishment of the Hospital Management Committee, the formation of administrative sub-committees in three eye hospitals, long-term development of ophthalmic science programs, and effective management. The National Health Policy 2076 (2019) also emphasizes the integration of primary eye care services into basic health services through advocacy and discussions. The program has presented comprehensive proposals to the local, provincial, and federal governments for the expansion and sustainability of the Eye Health Program. The program has received positive commitments from local governments through the mobilization of human resources and financial support, benefiting more than a thousand visually impaired individuals with cataract surgery in the current year alone. Furthermore, local donors, individuals, and NGOs, including NABP Nepal, have supported the physical development and maintenance of hospitals. Financial support has also been received from the Parliament Development Fund for the construction of staff housing in Lumbini Eye Hospital. In addition, positive commitments have been made by stakeholders for the removal of trachoma in Province 5 and Karnali Province through the elimination plan and presentation. The program has also received support from the local, provincial, and central governments for proposals related to the physical development and renovation of hospitals. Alongside this, local data, individuals, and NABP Nepal have provided support for the physical development and maintenance of hospitals. Services such as preventive (eye health education), curative (refractive services), and promotive (low vision) have been operational in three hospitals, and plans are underway to expand services related to rehabilitation (ocular prosthesis) and the establishment of services for women and children in eye health programs. We are committed to working actively towards the overall development and self-reliance of the Eye Health Program in Nepal, presenting comprehensive program proposals to the local, provincial, and federal governments, and receiving positive commitments. We express our heartfelt gratitude to the Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh Center, donor agencies’ representatives, local governments, respected members of the parliament representing Dang, political party leaders, and lifelong members of Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, Dang Branch, as well as the dedicated staff for their continuous support in program implementation.
Krishna Kumar Giri
Eye Health Program Rapti & Bahadurganj