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Collaborating for knowledge sharing – The BP Eye Foundation

Why the BP Eye Foundation joined IAPB and what they stand for.
Published: 05.02.2021
Sanjib Kumar Upadhyay General Secretary
BP Eye Foundation
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The BP Eye Foundation (BPEF) is delighted to have become an IAPB member.

We were established in 1991 in Nepal with a mission to improve eye health so that no one is needlessly blind. For this purpose, we decided to address the appalling shortage of eye care human resources, a major barrier for expanding sparsely available eye care services then.

Nation’s Self-Reliance for Human Resources

Our strategic partnership with Tribhuwan University, Faculty of Medicine , in establishing a center of excellence for eye care ‘Lions Center for Ophthalmic Studies’  helped Nepal. As a nation totally dependent on other countries for human resources and, to a large extent for eye care services to its population, achieve national self-reliance in human resources for eye health. We have been able to turn out over 150 Ophthalmologists and over 100 Optometrists in less than 20 years. The alumni of this programme are at the forefront leading eye care services, education and research serving in different parts of the country and have carved out a niche for Nepal in global eye health.

Comprehensive Eye Care

ScreeningOur second partnership:  ‘Nepal Association for the Welfare of the Blind ‘ is ,metaphorically speaking ,our second arm to reach out to those whom science could not help –  the incurably blind. By training teachers, again in partnership with Tribhuwan University , Faculty of Humanity to educate children with blindness , enrolling them  in integrated schools and creating  vocational training opportunities for the adults is a testimony of our commitment to holistic and comprehensive eye care.

Changing Gears

Building on this success and the dire need to expand poor state of ear and hearing care services, the Foundation expanded its scope of work in 2010 to include ear and hearing care. We established a Center (Hospital for Children, Eye , ENT and Rehabilitation Services- CHEERS), that has served over half a million people in the first six years and developed a successful model of integrated Vision and hearing care.

Proactive, holistic, pro-poor and inclusive value- based approaches are hallmark of BPEF.

Why Membership of IAPB

There is considerable convergence in the mission of IAPB and BPEF. Being members will help us expand our global reach to share our knowledge. Some of our innovative models –integrating rehabilitation services as part of eye care, harnessing the potentials of youth (Students for Universal Eye Health Coverage), integrating eye and ear care would be of potential benefit to IAPB and other countries at similar levels of development-adding synergy in achieving each other’s vision mission and objectives.