What one eye doctor can do

A desire to reach patients in remote pockets of Nepal inspired Dr Indira Poudel to pursue a career in ophthalmology. With The Foundation's support, she now plays a key role in restoring sight to people in the country's far-flung regions.

Dr Indira Poudel has been working at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu for five years.

From a young age, Dr Indira knew she wanted to study medicine.

While she initially considered gynaecology as her medical profession, it didn't take her too long to decide that ophthalmology was a better decision.

"I knew that ophthalmology would allow me to go out into the far reaches of Nepal to see patients," she says.

"It's a great feeling to restore sight to someone who has been blinded by cataract, especially if they have been living with loss of vision for some time."

Dr Indira was the head doctor at Tilganga's outreach eye clinic in Rasuwa recently. The clinic, held at the Kalika Community Centre, was supported by The Fred Hollows Foundation. 

Over the course of three days, more than 260 patients were seen and 53 operated on to remove cataract while an additional two had surgery for entropion, a condition where the eyelid folds inward.

Dr Indira explains that about a month before the clinic, staff from the Rasuwa Eye Centre went door-to-door to check residents' eyes.

"Some of those houses could be located eight hours away, so it's a very extensive door knock," she says.

The outpatient department screened 1,300 people and identified 95 who had cataracts. These cataract patients were told to attend the upcoming eye clinic where their condition could be treated.

Notices also went up around the Rasuwa area informing residents of the forthcoming clinic. People with any sort of eye problem were encouraged to attend.

"As well as cataract, eye disease or an eye injury can also be treated at these clinics," Dr Indira explains.

Tilganga conducts eye clinics at several locations throughout Nepal on a yearly basis.

"They really are an effective way of reaching people in remote and generally inaccessible areas of the country," Dr Indira says.

>Find out more about The Foundation's work in Nepal.
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