The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation works with ten eye hospitals across Nepal to ensure its blindness cure programs are taken to the communities that need them the most. Each partner hospital has an outreach team and the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation, in collaboration with the outreach department determines which communities need urgent interventions, and therefore dedicates its resources to that community.
One of the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation partner hospitals is the Fatehbal Eye Hospital in Nepalgunj. Together, the foundation and the hospital have screened 35,475 people across Banke and Bardiya Districts of Nepal, and have cured 4,299 people of cataract blindness. To do so, Fatehbal Eye Hospital has organised more than 100 screening camps.
Fatehbal Eye Hospital also has an academic program where each year 40 Ophthalmic Assistants (OA) are trained to then graduate as qualified OAs. These OAs are expected to fulfil crucial human resources and implement eye care programs across Nepal, especially in underserved regions, and for these students, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation-supported screening camps have proven to be a blessing where they gain valuable field experience.
On 20th June 2023, a screening team from Fatehbal Eye Hospital, working with the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation departed for the Naubasta Rural Municipality. The team was made up of an Outreach Manager, Umer Sadiq, Ophthalmic Assistant, Chhanduk Lal Tharu and four 3rd year Ophthalmic Assistant students.
Here’s what each of the four students had to say:
Bal Krishna BK, Patient Registration
“This is my fourth screening camp, and each camp I go to, I get to see the problem of cataract blindness first hand. Seeing such problems, I am further motivated to channel my efforts towards serving such communities in the future”.
Kaluram BK, Vision Acuity Test
“This is my fourth screening camp as well, and with each camp I am gaining confidence on how to manage patients at the screening camps. I am very happy to gain such invaluable experience which is helping me apply the knowledge I have learnt at class to use”.
Naresh Acharya, Vision Acuity Test
Naresh has already graduated. We met last year during one such screening camp. This year, he is pursuing a career in the city, but any time the hospital calls him for help, he volunteers his service. Today, was one such day where his help was sought to assist the team in the screening camp.
Bhabika Bhattarai, Counselling
“Before attending such screening camps, I only had theoretical knowledge. Now, as I check hundreds of patients every day, I am exposed to different kinds of eye problems and I am gaining practical knowledge. Of course, this exercise is also helping me build my confidence, and I am thankful to have Chhandu Sir here to guide me as I diagnose these patients”.
Kaushilya Shahu, Patient Data Entry
“This is my fifth eye screening camp, and I have gained training in all processes of a screening camp. I have registered patients, conducted visual acuity tests, counseled patients, and today as I enter the patient data, I am much more confident than I was a few months ago. I think I am ready to pursue my career now”.
On this hot day in Banke District of Nepal, the team was expecting a low turnout due to the extreme heat in the plains, however, more than 250 patients came to have their eyes screened on this hot and humid day. Of the 256 screened, 18 patients were identified as living with cataracts and were subsequently invited for cataract surgery at the Fatehbal Hospital.
The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation was founded in March 2021 by London philanthropist Tej Kolhi and Kathmandu ‘God of Sight’ Dr Sanduk Ruit. As of November 2022 the NGO had screened 170,022 patients and cured 22,663of blindness at 91 outreach camps in Nepal, Bhutan and Ghana. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is a restricted fund operating under the auspices of Prism The Gift Fund, registered UK charity number 1099682. The Foundation targets the #1 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of reducing poverty by making large-scale surgical interventions to cure blindness at the grassroots in the developing world. All treatments are provided completely free, with 100% of the funding coming from Tej Kohli and the Kohli family.