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Mr. Ranjan Shah is one of the most proactive and promising leaders in the eye health sector of Nepal. He joined Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh (NNJS), world’s largest eye care network of 22 eye hospitals, 128 eye and ear care centers and 42 district branches, in 2016 to look after vertical projects. Recognizing his dedication and self-motivation towards his work to execute eye care programs, we are honored to nominate him as 2021 IAPB Eye Health Hero (EHH).
He has continuously proven to be instrumental in program management as he has led several projects across the country navigating various challenges wisely to ensure projects are on track. Due to his interest in community work, he played a crucial role in implementing the “National Eye Health Education Program,” in Nepal. He has been actively involved in managing “National Childhood Blindness Program in Nepal,” 2010-2017 which was launched with an objective to reduce blindness and visual impairment among children. The project aimed at screening 1.5 million children and achieved screening was over 1.7 million along with the 32,734 pediatric surgeries undertaken during the project period.
Most notably, amidst COVID-19 pandemic, we have paved the milestone reaching out to more than 539,175 school going/non-going children/children with intellectual ability through the “Refractive Error Among Children Program (REACH),” 2018-2022, an ongoing initiative in Province 01 & 02 of Nepal with an objective to reduce visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive error as a barrier to education supported by Orbis and DFID. I am delighted to affirm that Ranjan has been key to the projects’ roll out, replication and scale up. Under his leadership, we have trained and sensitized remarkable number of teachers, Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs), Vision Ambassadors and parents on eye health and COVID-19 appropriate behaviors under the REACH program.
Apart from school eye health and children’s eye care, Ranjan also looks after a key cataract project supported by DAK and Partner for Equity foundation at the end of which more than 25,100 and 30,000 Nepalese people will have surgery and presbyopia glasses free of cost. Through his initiative, efforts, and leadership in research & publication sector, we successfully accomplished the RAAB Survey, 2019 in Nepal.
His tireless efforts and dedicated journey with an aim to address avoidable blindness as a public health problem in Nepal is undoubtedly upholding the benchmark set by NNJS for community eye health programs.
“I am content with my job of identification and correction of eye conditions like uncorrected refractive error (RE) through accessible and affordable interventions among children which is a barrier to education in Nepal. Along with hospitals, RE services must be provisioned at community level by the engagement of community as RE are the single largest and emerging cause of visual impairment for both adults and children, globally.
I am truly honored to be part of NNJS’s mission to end blindness due to avoidable causes and provide comprehensive services that are equitably accessible, affordable, people centric in the country.”
– Ranjan Shah