Author: Yuddha Dhoj Sapkota

Yuddha Dhoj Sapkota

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

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…

OEU Investigates Eye Health in Maldives, Sri Lanka

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Operation Eyesight Universal (OEU), along with IAPB, visited Maldives and Sri Lanka to explore the feasibility of extending support to strengthen eye health service delivery there. In the second week of November, I accompanied a team from Operation Eyesight Universal to explore opportunities for improving eye health services in Sri Lanka and Maldives, two countries…

South East Asia Day at CoM

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

At IAPB Council of Member’s meeting the South East Asia (SEA) Day was attended by almost 300 participants from over 70 organisations throughout the globe. It is considered as one of the biggest IAPB CoM meeting. The meeting was divided into seven sessions: Setting the tone, Cataract, Glaucoma, Uncorrected Refractive Error, Diabetic Retinopathy, Cornea and…

The road-map towards the Global Action Plan – An update from IAPB South-East Asia

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

In recent years, IAPB South East Asia (SEA) advocacy has expanded to all countries in the region. The most recent wins being the first-ever RAAB survey in Maldives and follow-up RAAB in Timor-Leste with financial support from Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF). The collaboration with WHO-SEARO, and WHO country offices of respective countries have been another success for the implementation of…

Myanmar launches National Eye Health Plan

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Visual impairment and blindness is a serious public health problem in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (South East Asia). While they have made significant strides in trachoma elimination; cataract still remains a problem, responsible for 60% of all blindness. The National Eye Heath Plan 2017-2021(NEPH), the country’s first national strategic plan for eye…

Timor-Leste gets fresh data on blindness and visual impairment

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

In 2016, I worked with the Ministry of Health (MoH) Timor-Leste to carry out a national representative blindness and visual impairment survey there. The survey was carried out with generous financial support from Lions Club International Foundation, technical support from International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), South East Asia Region and local financial administration…

Rapid Assessment of Blindness survey: Timor-Leste

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Timor-Leste in South East Asia–current listed as one of the poorest nations in the world—became an independent state in 1999. The country is divided into 13 administrative districts and 65 sub districts with a predominantly rural population of 1,257, 613 (Census data 2010) people. Timor-Leste has one referral hospital, in Dili, the capital. The hospital…

Maldives Dissemination Workshop

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

I am delighted to report back from a successful ‘dissemination workshop’ for data from the first-ever population based RAAB survey in Maldives. The workshop was organized by the WHO country office in Maldives and was graced by the honorable Minister of Health Her Excellency Ms Iruthisham Adam, Dr Tara Prasad Das, IAPB SEA Regional Chair, Prof. Henry Adala, LCIF Technical Advisor, Africa, Deputy Ministers and policy makers of Maldives and other eye care colleagues from the island nation.

Sri Lanka releases latest Blindness Survey data

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

In collaboration with IAPB South East Asia, VISION 2020 Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Health organized a national workshop on eye health action plan from 6 to 7 May, 2016. The main objective of the workshop was to come up with suggestions for the amendment on Sri Lanka’s National Eye Health Action Plan 2013…