• Academy Committed to Supporting Eye Care in Nepal After Earthquake

    Fund established to help rebuild ophthalmic services for patients in devastated areas

    In response to the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has established the Nepal Eye Care Relief Fund. This fund will support rebuilding efforts to deliver much-needed eye care to the people of Nepal.

    Rescue workers near a collapsed house in Nepal after the April 25 earthquake
    Photo credit: Jessica Lea/DFID

    Prior to the earthquake, which has taken thousands of lives and affected millions more, there was a critical need for eye care in Nepal. Approximately 93,400 people in this mountainous Himalayan country are blind and more than 280,000 have low vision, largely due to preventable or treatable causes. With more than 30 million people but fewer than 200 ophthalmologists, many struggle to get the eye care they need. In the aftermath of the earthquake, patients may find it even more difficult to get treatment that could help save their vision.

    To assist with recovery efforts, the Academy will continue working with its long-standing partners at the Nepal Ophthalmic Society and Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, an in-country non-governmental organization for eye care, to provide support. The Academy has worked with both groups for many years to provide vital clinical education resources to Nepalese ophthalmologists to improve patient care. In addition, the Academy has created a task force that is currently identifying additional respected non-governmental organizations that are working effectively during this crisis in Nepal, especially those involved in re-establishing eye care services.

    “As a result of the disaster, many ophthalmologists in Nepal are now unable to provide quality eye care to those who need it most,” said David W. Parke II, M.D., CEO of the Academy. “By working closely with our colleagues in Nepal, we will support the re-establishment of critical eye care services and education through this challenging time. We know that helping our Nepalese colleagues rebuild their eye care practices will have a ripple effect across the rest of this devastated population.” 

    In 2010, Academy members responded with an abundance of generosity in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. All of the funds collected through the Nepal Eye Care Relief Fund will be used to rebuild capacity to deliver eye care in Nepal. Those interested in donating can learn more at https://secure.aao.org/apps/Default.aspx?tabid=484. Donations are tax deductible.

    About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons, serving more than 32,000 members worldwide. The Academy's mission is to advance the lifelong learning and professional interests of ophthalmologists to ensure that the public can obtain the best possible eye care. For more information, visit www.aao.org

    The Academy is also a leading provider of eye care information to the public. The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit EyeSmart or OjosSanos to learn more.