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Nepal Committed to incorporate IPEC in to national eye health policy and strategies in Nepal

Published: 06.05.2021
Yuddha Dhoj Sapkota IAPB South East Asia Regional Manager

The National Launch of WHO- World Report of Vision in Nepal took place last month on 29th April. Nepal is the second country in the region to hold a launch after Bangladesh.

The event took place virtually on the 29th. Acting Secretary of Ministry of Health and Population Dr Roshan Pokhrel, officially unveiled the WHO- World Report on Vision Report. Altogether 82 participants virtually participated via zoom and more than 160 people watched the launch on the Facebook Pages of Ministry of Health and IAPB . The viewers were mainly from Nepal but also significant number of people from India, Australia, South Korea, Norway, UK, Netherlands and other countries attended.

Kathmandu was under lock-down due to COVID on that day, so physical presence was limited. People who were physically present were Dr Guna Raj Lohani, Chief of Policy and planning, Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), Dr Vikash Devkota Chief Specialist MoHP, Dr Rajesh Pandav WHO representative to Nepal, Dr Lonim Dixit, National Porgramme officer, WHO Nepal, Dr Sanduk Ruit and Dr Reeta Gurung from Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, Mr Sailesh Mishra, from NNJS and myself.

During the programme the ministry officially endorsed the WRV recommendations and Integrated people Centred Eye Care in Eye Health plan and programme of Nepal. The moHP is working on new national eye heath strategies and it will be fully incorporated in upcoming eye health strategies in the country. The WHO country office Nepal also vowed to support to new eye health strategies and implementation of IPEC in Nepal  The detail of the launch programme can be found in the press release by MoHP Nepal, published by Health News Nepal.

The WHO launched the Word Report on Vision (WRV) at a global level on 9 October 2019 on the eve of World Sight Day 2019. Since then, International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in collaboration with respective Ministries of health, World Health Organization (WHO), IAPB members and national stakeholders have been working to coordinate country launches of the World report on vision to ensure its implementation at the national level.

This was initially planned for 2020, however because of the pandemic we were only able to launch the first one in SEA region in Bangladesh in February 2020, with others postponed. But with the pandemic continuing, we  have decided to go for virtual launches.