Nepalese earthquake relief

Nepalese earthquake relief

Restoring eye health

Governments, NGO’s and people around the world responded generously and immediately to help the people of Nepal after the two devastating earthquakes of 2015.

The early response provided lifesaving relief that included emergency food supply, clean drinking water, preventing outbreaks of water-borne diseases and the setting up of temporary shelters and latrines.

Weeks later, staple food supplies and agricultural tools were distributed and water tanks constructed.

People have been assisted and instructed in the creation of earthquake-resistant building. 

A year on and lack of access to sanitation and water continues to be a concern for significant numbers of people. Frequent power cuts continues to present problems to relief and recovery.

Many thousands also lost or broke their glasses, detrimentally affecting their livelihoods and education potential. Thanks to the support of our donors, Optometry Giving Sight is making a contribution to the rehabilitation of survivors through the Nepalese Association of Optometrists (NAO).

A project running from August 2015 to September 2016, working with many local implementing partners and BP Eye Foundation, is examining people for eye health problems, providing glasses and referral for surgery and also providing support for families with sanitary goods in order to maintain environmental and personal hygiene in the community.

An unstable political situation in the country caused delay in starting the project activities and a blockade of the southern border to Nepal initially prevented the import of essential goods. The major challenge here was for managing transportation due to shortage of petroleum products and lodging facilities at the camp site as the majority of the houses were damaged. Though rough roads and a shortage of food at the camp sites gave discomfort for the camp team, they proceeded with the task before them.

Nepal eye screen

So far a total of 832 people have been examined comprehensively for their eye health problems in two villages (Sahare and Kabre) of the Dolakha District by a team of local optometrists. About 650 of them were provided with an intervention.

156 people (most of whom were presbyopes) were provided with glasses. Minor lid repairs and foreign body removal was done in 8 people who sustained injury from the disaster. A total of 32 required cataract surgery; they were counselled along with their family members and were referred to the B.P. Koirala Lions Centre tertiary hospital in Kathmandu.

The project continues to reach out to remote communities and provide vision and hope to the most needy.

Nepalese women

Photos courtesy Nepalese Association of Optometrists