Himalaya Eye Hospital (HEH) was established in 1993 with the aim of providing comprehensive eye care services to the people residing in Gandaki, Dhaulagiri and Karnali zones. Therefore, the program as a whole is called Gandaki, Dhaulagiri Eye Care Program (GDECP). The HEH serves as the base hospital for the GDECP Eye Care Foundation (ECF), earlier Eye Care Worldwide, Foundation Eye Care Himalaya is the INGO that has been providing financial support to the Program and Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh (NNJS) is the local counterpart NGO. In that sense the NNJS is the legal owner of the HEH.
The total population of these three zones is around 2.6 million, which accounts for more than 10% of the total population of the country. Area wise, these zones cover around 27% of total land area in the country. All these three are hilly zones where majority of people are poor, uneducated and underprivileged. The main objective of this program is to reduce avoidable blindness by 90% in the Program area through:
- Preventive and Curative Service.
- Creating awareness and reducing incidence of preventable blindness.
- Improving people’s treatment seeking behaviors.
- Making Eye Care Service accessible to the people who are living below the poverty line
- Extending services by developing manpower and infrastructure.
The HEH has also played a key role in developing ophthalmic manpower to meet the national requirements. It provides training to become an ophthalmic assistants trained by this hospital are rendering eye care services from different eye hospitals and eye care centers throughout the country.