Author: Yuddha Dhoj Sapkota

Yuddha Dhoj Sapkota

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

RAAB Survey Completed in Rohingya Refugee Population in Cox Bazaar, Bangladesh

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

The Rohingya population of Rakhine state in Myanmar started flooding neighboring Bangladesh from August 2017, fleeing from conflict. Since then it is estimated that more than a million Rohingya refugees currently reside in Cox Bazaar District, Bangladesh. UN agencies and many international governments and non-governmental organizations are supporting the Bangladeshi government to cope with this…

RAAB Survey in Nepal

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Nepal is one of the countries in the South-east Asia region where the national blindness survey takes place at regular intervals.  In 1981, the Nepal Blindness survey was one of the only few scientific national blindness surveys. Its results were published by the Seva Foundation (IAPB member).  Based on the survey results, a national master…

Eye Health Expert’s meeting in Kathmandu

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

After the global launch of the World Report of Vision (WRV) in October 2019, IAPB South- East Asia (SEA) is working closely with WHO SEARO for its operationalization at the regional level. We have to schedule the regional and national level launch soon to achieve its targets of universal health coverage and Sustainable Development Goals…

New Health Policy in Nepal

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Nepal is a country where eye health services are primarily delivered by non-governmental organizations.  More than 90% of eye health services are delivered by local IAPB members; Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh and Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology. These local members are supported by members such as CBM (Germany),  Eye Care Foundation (Netherlands), the Himalayan Cataract Project…

Bhutan School Sight Programme

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

It is well known that uncorrected refractive error is the leading cause of visual impairment and the most common eye disorder in children. Considering its high prevalence, socioeconomic impact and psychological effect, refractive error has gained priority as a public health challenge globally. Early diagnosis and appropriate refractive correction is among the most cost-effective interventions…

First Eye Hospital in Bhutan

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

The first ever Eye Hospital in Bhutan is now open at the capital in Thimpu! It was inaugurated by Her Majesty, Gyalyum Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, the Queen Grandmother of Bhutan. IAPB member, the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) and Wen Giving Foundation, an organisation based in Malaysia are giving  technical and financial support. HCP is involved…

IAPB SEA Regional Planning Consultative Meeting: How far we’ve come and planning ahead

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

IAPB organized a South East Asia Regional consultative meeting on eye health on 29 and 30 June 2019.  The main objectives of the meeting were: To produce a white paper in line with the goals and objectives of VISION 2020 and WHO GAP 2014-2019, on existing eye health status of each country in the region…

The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology celebrates two milestones

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO), recently celebrated its 25th anniversary on 22nd June 2019.  It also marked another milestone that day – the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised TIO as a WHO Collaboration Centre of Ophthalmology. TIO is the first Institute in Nepal to receive this recognition in the field of ophthalmology.  A…

30% reduction of blindness in Bhutan and more trends from published RAAB

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

I am happy to report that Bhutan now has fresh blindness and visual impairment data. These were the results from a RAAB carried out after 9 years. PLOS One has published the results. In a moment that is worth celebrating, they show that Bhutan has achieved 30% reduction in blindness compared to the of result…

Yuddha Sapkota, certified RAAB 7 Survey trainer

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

I have been a certified RAAB trainer since 2014. As a trainer, I have trained and supervised survey teams and monitored RAAB surveys in Maldives, Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan. The RAAB survey methodology gets updated regularly. In 2014 the RAAB 5 version was current, which soon became RAAB 6. Every version requires some…

The Cox Bazaar RAAB: Surveying vision among the Rohingya Refugee Population in Bangladesh

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

The story so far: Victims of what the UN called ethnic cleansing, more than a million Rohingya refugees live in refugee camps around Cox’s Bazaar in eastern Bangladesh. A number of IAPB members, with support from IAPB South East Asia, conducted a situation analysis (and published it in July last year). The situation analysis delved…

2018 in Review: IAPB South-East Asia

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB
The focus of IAPB-South-East Asia Region in the year 2018 has continued to be the operationalization of the WHO Global Action Plan (GAP) 2014-2019 and monitoring its progress. The three main objectives of GAP are: Evidence Generation – using it to advocate for political and financial commitment for eye health National Eye Health Policies, Plan…

LCIF Supports New Study in Bhutan

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Bhutan, the country with the happiness index, may soon see it’s delight go up a notch higher. IAPB South East Asia is working with Bhutan’s ministry of health to run a nation-wide School Eye Health screening survey in 2019. The survey has just secured funding from Lions Clubs International Foundation’s SightFirst programme. With this support,…

Designing a blindness survey for Afghanistan – RAAB in Kabul

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

HealthNET TPO, a Netherlands-based INGO, supporting Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan recently requested that I visit Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, to help design a vision impairment survey based on the RAAB survey methodology. Afghanistan is a land-locked mountainous country with an estimated population of 31 million (74% rural), where more than a third of…

A Road map of Indonesia’s visual impairment control programme

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

A RAAB survey covering 15 districts in Indonesia (in 2016) showed that it had one of the highest prevalence of blindness in the South-East Asia region. The survey also showed that the human resources were concentrated in the major cities. The Indonesian archipelago has more than 13,000 islands. The survey noted that personnel presence was…

Bhutan meets the WHO Global Action Plan target on blindness reduction

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Bhutan is one of the countries where a previous nationwide blindness survey exists and can be compared with the latest, the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) Survey 2018. The 2018 survey’s sampling frame covered the population aged 50 years and older, across all 20  districts of the kingdom. The first RAAB survey in Bhutan…

Eye Health in A Crisis: Rohingya Refugee Camp Need Analysis

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

May 2018 saw me evaluating eye health in one of the biggest refugee camps for displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh. In 2017, the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazaar on Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar saw the biggest ever influx of refugees–nearly 690,000 refugees–after clashes broke out in Myanmar in August. The camps merged into one taking in…

Data collection in IAPB SEA in 2018

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Many countries in SEA region do not have authentic base-line data to measure the progress of the Global Action Plan’s (GAP) target of 25% reduction in visual impairment by 2019. The lack of a National Eye Health Action Plan and comprehensive eye care services has also been a major issue in some countries. Therefore for…

The Bhutan mRAAB Survey Begins

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

South East Asia is fortunate. The Lions Clubs International Foundation have yet again supported the region with a Research Grant in 2017 for a RAAB survey in Bhutan (After the surveys in Maldives and East Timor in 2016). The last time Bhutan had a blindness survey (RAAB) was in 2009 and so the 2017 follow-up…