The Himalayan Cataract Project works to overcome barriers impeding delivery of cataract care to underserved, needlessly blind people in the developing world. Our efforts are focused on eradicating preventable and curable blindness with a concurrent strategy to provide high-quality care, train local personnel and establish a world-class eye care infrastructure where most needed. We work with partners to establish and perfect methodologies optimized for the developing world. The cataract surgery can be performed in approximately five minutes, with limited inputs, minimal to no follow-up and extraordinary results. Our innovation rests in our delivery system, commitment to skills-transfer and ability to provide high-quality surgical care in remote settings, reaching patients who would never make it to a hospital.
At the core of the HCP’s success is its long-standing, trusted partnership with the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Together, HCP and Tilganga have dramatically improved eye care by creating a proven eye care model worthy of worldwide replication.
HCP’s top priority is to reach the greatest number of unserved blind people, with the highest quality care at the lowest cost possible. To do this as effectively as possible, HCP focuses in three key areas to ensure outstanding service:
High-Volume Cataract Campaigns
The Himalayan Cataract Project has developed highly-efficient approaches in each of the critical areas of surgery, training, and education, so that its eye doctors and support teams can reach everyone – including the poor who often live in sparsely populated regions.
For those who cannot reach urban areas, HCP, our eye care partners, and teams of local nurses and doctors conduct high-volume cataract campaigns in remote areas of Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. During these campaigns hundreds of surgeries are performed each day.
The Himalayan Cataract Project trains local eye care teams with methodologies optimized for the developing world. All training and education hinges on maximizing the capacity of eye care staff at all levels. This allows for the expansion of efficient eye care delivery, an increased number of patients treated, and an increased number of trained eye care specialists who can then train future eye care providers.
Underlying the varied work carried out by HCP and the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology is our belief that a sustainable health care system must function effectively over the long term with minimal external involvement. Thus, sustainable eye care requires local staffing of ophthalmologists, eye care workers, and administrators, and necessitates first-rate training and education at all levels. A core feature of HCP’s training is to maximize the ability of mid-level eye care workers (largely ophthalmic assistants) to deliver eye care more efficiently.
Working closely with a variety of partners, HCP supports a full range of ophthalmic education – from the traditional rigorous training of surgeons to the intensive training of field workers that includes nurses, field staff and community leaders.
The Himalayan Cataract Project is committed to building, provisioning, mentoring and staffing a diverse range of of eye care facilities so that they are equipped to serve the blind and others who need eye care indefinitely. From community eye centers in rural areas staffed by ophthalmic assistants, to full specialty eye hospitals, HCP provides financial support and administrative assistance depending on the needs of the facility and region. Through our Technology and Procurement Program, we source and manage equipment and materials for HCP programs and those being carried out by other organizations. In any given year, the Technology and Procurement Program will provide millions of dollars worth of equipment and supplies to over 30 countries.