Dr Shakti, a young eye surgeon at Nepal Red Cross Surkhet Eye Hospital (SEH), collaborating with Swiss Red Cross (SRC) is aiming to reduce the avoidable blindness of Karnali Province of Nepal. During his school days, he was inspired by seeing sharp images of the surrounding with a pair of glasses, and when he got a scholarship from SRC to study ophthalmology, his dream came true. Dr Shakti is strong on management leadership and has a passion for bringing happiness for the people living in difficult areas, led to having responsibilities as a Medical Director of SEH in a short time. He is now the only phaco surgeon in the whole province and popular among patients, staff, and partners. The infrastructure and initial investment for the hospital were made by the SRC, and in no time, in the leadership of Dr Shakti, the hospital achieved self-sufficiency, which was a very challenging goal for an eye hospital located away from Indian border in a small town, serving only the Nepali population. Client friendly service approaches and their engagement in service improvement are also the key success approach of Dr Shakti.
“It was great learning while working at Surkhet eye hospital and with partners like Swiss Red Cross. Initially, I thought I was in a job to enjoy with the clinical work – but my engagement with the people, especially being out of the hospital, who was in dire need of our support made me realize that it was not merely a job, was a mission to spread out happiness and wellbeing. There I decided that my role should be widened by linking with more people and institutions to scaleup the purpose, take more challenges and look for further possible to bring happiness for our people enjoying the profession.”
-Dr. Shakti Prasad Subedi
He has diversified partnership and led the RAAB process as a joint initiative with the Province Government, NNJS, FHF/TiO, ECF. He was successful to advocate the Government to own the RAAB results and has initiated a process to develop an eye care strategy at the Province level so that the vertical approach in eye care service management and delivery is shifted into the horizontal system. This is an innovative move in Nepal to ensure the government’s ownership to integrate eye care with the health care system. He has already started to receive funding from the Province government for community outreach, service expansion and integration of eye care into existing primary health care.
Karnali is the least developed Province with the most difficult terrain in the region. Dr Shakti gave high priority to reaching the needy, linked eye care service financing from the government social security to ensure universal health coverage. The hospital even allocated funds to leave no one without services because of money. Reaching out in most remote location in the province with the eye care services at the doorsteps to bring smile and happiness among the most deprives is the passion for him. Thanks to FHF/TiO for their generous contribution with the supply of IOLs free of charge for the poor patients.