Dr. Sanduk Ruit realised that one of the most prevalent health issues in his country, Nepal, is visual impairments, particularly blindness as a result of cataracts, with a 62.2% incidence rate among patients over the age of fifty, and that seven youngsters lose their sight every day. In Nepal, refractive abnormalities are frequent eye illnesses that cause blindness in youngsters, and every year, thousands of individuals go blind as a result of cataracts.
Therefore, Ruit and his friend Dr Fred Hollows imagined a world where people in impoverished nations might get top-notch eye treatment.
In his search for an alternative method of treating cataracts, Ruit teamed up with Dr Fred Hollows to develop a novel intraocular lens that could be mass-produced at a much-reduced cost. With this inexpensive lens, he was able to treat a patient’s cataract in just five minutes. Phacoemulsification is used to surgically remove cataracts without sutures and eye lenses are replaced with low-cost artificial ones.
Realising that producing the lenses locally would significantly reduce the cost of treatment, the two surgeons quickly began developing plans to build a factory to produce the eye lenses necessary for cataract surgery.
The plant opened in June 1995, one year after his mentor and friend, Dr Fred Hollows, died. Ruit was appointed medical director of Nepal’s Tilganga Ophthalmological Institute. The institute is a key partner of the Fred Hollows Foundation, and it is now a global medical institution led by doctor Sanduck Ruit, who has provided free care to over 120,000 people with treatable blindness.
Dr Ruit’s novel surgical approach has helped cut in half the rate of treatable blindness in Nepal over the past three decades. He has also trained over 650 doctors from all over the world to follow in his footsteps and share his knowledge in the fight against preventable blindness around the world; as a result, the number of successful eye surgeries performed worldwide has now surpassed 35 million.
Dr Ruit’s centre presently includes about 30 in-house doctors who provide ophthalmology services to patients in two hospitals and 16 outpatient clinics throughout Nepal. There are medical professionals taking part from many different parts of the world, including the United States, Africa, and many Asian countries.