The António Champalimaud Foundation announced, Tuesday Sep. 4, that the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, Nepal is one of the recipients of its 2013 Vision Award. The award is worth $1.3 million and is the largest amount to be awarded for work in eyesight care and restoration.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit founded the Tilganga Institute in 1994. Dr. Ruit along with his partner in the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP), Dr. Geoffrey Tabin, were the subject of this summer’s release, “Second Suns”. Authored by David Relin, who was the co-author of the best seller “Three Cups of Tea,” “Second Suns” reveals the story of two unlikely partners and their journey to restore sight to millions in underdeveloped countries, such as Nepal.
The Institute has been recognized for adapting a system to bring high quality, high volume, low-cost cataract care to the most inaccessible regions of the Himalayas. Currently, Tilganga treats up to 2,500 patients a week and waives surgery fees for the needy. The Institute’s further accomplishments include the building of 11 satellite community eye centers, manufacturing their own intraocular lenses and providing expertise to ophthalmic teams from Nepal and around the world.
Yesterday, Dr. Sanduk Ruit accepted the prestigious award along with Mr. Suhrid Ghimire, Chairman of the Nepal Eye Program, Dr. Reeta Gurung, CEO of Tilganga, and Dr. Geoffrey Tabin, Chairman of HCP. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide and can be treated with a 10-minute surgery. Despite, the fact that cataracts are easily treated, the World Health Organization estimates that 18 million people become blind from cataracts. You can visit the Himalayan Cataract Project website for more information about what’s being done to eradicate this problem and visit “Second Suns” to read about the inspiring story of Drs. Ruit and Tabin.
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