Last week the charity marked its one-year milestone by staging a three-day microsurgical outreach camp in the remote hills of Nepal after screening 3,251 patients in sixteen localities. 333 of the patients who were identified as blind or severely visually impaired then received a free surgical intervention to cure them of cataracts after being transported by the foundation to its temporary operating theatre at a school in the Dorambah region.
The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is an alliance between philanthropist Tej Kohli and pre-eminent ophthalmologist and eye surgeon Dr Sanduk Ruit. Together in 2022 they plan to undertake a minimum of 60,000 interventions to cure blindness in poor and underserved communities in Asia and Africa as part of a multi-year mission to cure more than 500,000.
A study published by The Lancet has shown that the socioeconomic effect of cataract surgery is substantial, because it allows people to increase their economic productivity by up to 1,500% of the cost of surgery during the first postoperative year.
Tej Kohli, co-founder of the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation, said:
"Making large-scale interventions to cure blindness is a means to an end, and that end is extreme poverty reduction. 90% of the world's blind live in low-income countries where untreated blindness and extreme poverty perpetuate each other in an ever-declining cycle. Interventions like ours can act as a circuit breaker and turbo-charge economic development."
Dr Sanduk Ruit, co-founder of the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation, said:
"My hope is that we can show the world how large-scale high-volume treatment interventions to cure blindness at the grassroots level can have a major impact in helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including the SGD1 goal to 'end poverty everywhere'."
The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is a restricted fund operating under the auspices of Prism The Gift Fund, registered UK charity number 1099682.
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