Co-founder of the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP), Dr. Sanduk Ruit has been curing blindness along with his dedicated team throughout various countries around the globe. They have successfully restored vision of more than 600,000 people around the world, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.
Eye care is one of the biggest public health challenges, as more than 39 million people suffer from unnecessary blindness- with cataract being the major cause. Most of these cases are from developing countries. Dr. Ruit founded HCP with Dr. Geoff Tabin to eradicate as much unnecessary blindness as possible.
Although being from a remote place called Olangchungola in eastern Nepal, Dr. Ruit established himself as a successful eye surgeon. His journey to become a doctor all started back when he lost his sister to tuberculosis since there were no medical facilities around, at his place. He completed his ophthalmology residency at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
He returned to Nepal to work for Nepal Blindness Survey in 1980 where he met a highly renowned surgeon named Fred Hollows from Australia who soon became his mentor. Dr. Ruit went to Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital, Australia with Dr. Hollows for his further studies where he came to learn about a cataract micro-surgery technique using implanted intraocular lenses.
Dr. Ruit went on to become the first Nepali doctor to perform cataract surgery and the first one to pioneer high quality micro-surgical procedures in remote camps. He has dedicated his life on delivering this suture-less procedure to people’s doorsteps as most of the poor cannot make it to recovery due to weak economy and harsh geographical conditions at some cases.
Dr.Ruit has received multiple prestigious awards in the field of international health. He also has great contribution on founding “Tilganga Eye Center”. Tilganga started its service since its foundation in 1994 and serves about 2,500 patients a week at present context.
Dr. Ruit has proved that high quality care can be delivered even in remote and isolated places at low-costs. He has served as far as North Korea, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Bhutan, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Ghana apart from his home-country, Nepal with his dedicated and highly experienced team.
Dr. Ruit says, “When you are right, no one can prove you wrong. I took proving myself right as a challenge and I succeeded.” You can learn more about Himalayan Cataract Project through their website www.cureblindness.org.