The Fred Hollows Foundation has launched an appeal to help deliver desperately-needed emergency relief to some of the areas worst hit by the Nepal earthquake.
Money raised through the appeal will go the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, which is distributing emergency supplies to thousands of families affected by the earthquake.
The Tilganga Institute was established by Professor Fred Hollows and his friend, Nepali eye surgeon Dr Sanduk Ruit, to help restore sight in the poorest, most isolated communities of Nepal.
Tilganga’s skilled medical teams usually treat around 2,500 patients a week.
But as soon as the earthquake hit, the Institute’s doctors, clinical support staff and administrative staff swung into action, sourcing emergency food and medical supplies for relief packages.
Staff are now delivering these relief packages to remote villages, using every means possible, including on foot or by truck. For the most isolated areas, they’re considering helicopter access.
Relief packages include rice, lentils, instant noodles, salt, sugar and water purification liquid. The distribution of the packages is being coordinated with the Nepalese Red Cross, Nepalese Army, and local disaster management committees.
Thousands of packages have already been delivered to Dhading, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk districts and teams are hoping to reach Rasuwa district, which has been cut off by road.
The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology is located in Kathmandu, in the heart of the area most severely affected by the earthquake. It also has remote eye clinics dotted through the Himalayas.
Staff at the Institute are in a unique position to help with the relief effort, given their medical training, their location and their detailed knowledge of the affected areas.
Dr Ruit said he was proud of the way the entire staff of the Institute had responded.
“This tragedy has left thousands of people homeless, helpless and broken – but we have vowed to be part of their healing process with the help of our international partners,” Dr Ruit said.
CEO of The Fred Hollows Foundation, Brian Doolan said the generosity of The Foundation’s supporters had already changed the lives of millions of people.
“Our colleagues and friends at the Tilganga Institute have now asked us to help them support the Nepali people, who really need urgent help at this time,” Mr Doolan said.
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The Fred Hollows Foundation is hoping to raise $100,000 through the emergency appeal.