On 20 November, we were in Nepal to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Nepal Eye Program run by the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology. The signing marks the beginning of Essilor’s first major social impact focused project in the country. With the Tilganga Institute as its implementation partner, the project, which is expected to take three years to complete, will focus on providing all 350,000 residents of Nepal’s Bhaktapur district with access to eye care.
A project team of 10 people will conduct initial preliminary vision screenings door-to-door. Essilor will then provide a mobile van fully equipped to conduct further screenings which will assess the level of correction required. Bhaktapur residents will also be offered eyeglasses at a subsidized rate.
While the Nepal Eye Program has been in place since 1994, this is the first time a refractive error focused initiative of this scale has been undertaken.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Nepal, Hubert Sagnieres, Executive Vice Chairman, EssilorLuxottica and Chairman for Essilor International said, “We are honored to be working with the Nepal Eye Program and the Tilanga Institute of Ophthamology on this significant program. It represents a very positive step towards eliminating uncorrected poor vision in Nepal and takes us a step closer towards elimination of this invisible disability, which affects millions of people, by 2050.”
“This partnership with Essilor marks a major milestone in our efforts to improve the vision and lives of our community. Uncorrected refractive errors are a disability no one should suffer from and we hope this partnership is the first of many in Nepal. This can develop into a great example of social entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Sanduk Ruit, Executive Director, Nepal Eye Program, Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology.