With the inauguration of the Gyalyum Kesang Choeden Wangchuck National Eye Centre in Thimphu, Bhutan now has its first eye hospital.
The royal grandmother, Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, inaugurated the eye hospital in Thimphu on Tuesday.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by members of the royal family, Cabinet and council members, Chief Justice and other dignitaries, says a Kuensel report.
The eye hospital has been named in the honour of the royal grandmother.
The hospital has been supported by the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) in Nepal and Wen Giving Foundation, an organisation based in Malaysia, both technically and financially.
The eye centre has been constructed at a cost of 1.6 million US dollar.
The hospital has been funded by Wen Giving Foundation.
The funding came through the Himalayan Cataract Project, says the report.
The report quoted Bhutan health minister Dechen Wangmo as saying: “The HCP has been our partner for many years and they have been working with our eye programme.”
“This is a project that came through them with the blessing of Her Majesty the Gyalyum,” he added.
The minister said since the inception of the eye programme in 1987, the prime objective of the programme had been to prevent, control and cure major causes of avoidable blindness.
As envisioned in the ‘Vision 2020: Right to Sight’, the other objective of the eye programme is to make essential eye care services available to all.
The minister acknowledged that the royal grandmother’s patronage and gracious support became instrumental in spearheading the development of this state-of-the-art eye hospital.
He said the hospital “will provide the much needed eye services in the country”.
The centre is expected to provide more specialised eye care services and develop sub-specialisation in Ophthalmology in the country.
Besides the OPD (out-patient department) services, the centre will also provide inpatient services for ophthalmology cases, and surgical services within the facility.
Last year, the ophthalmology department of the national referral hospital in Thimphu registered 39,635 OPD cases.
The eye patients were offered services by 19 health workers including the ophthalmologists and ophthalmic technicians.
Currently, Bhutan has a total of 54 ophthalmic technicians, nine ophthalmologists and optometrist each.