The Tibetan population endures harsh weather, high altitude, strong ultraviolet rays and a sporadic food supply. These conditions result in a high prevalence of eye disease, including cataracts.
More so, because of the dispersed nature of the population, the inaccessible terrain, lack of transportation and extreme poverty, it can be incredibly challenging to deliver adequate eye care in the region.
Until October of 2015, Seva supported over 70% of all eye care provided in the Tibet Autonomous Region and Tibetan areas of Qinghai, Szechuan, Gansu and Yunnan Provinces. In November of 2015, the Seva Tibet office in Lhasa closed, but Seva Tibet staff continues to provide support to eye care programs outside of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
Seva now works with local government hospitals and Public Health Bureaus to establish clinical services and train local doctors in the Tibetan areas of Qinghai, Szechuan, Gansu and Yunnan Provinces. All of the eye care is planned, conducted, and managed by Tibetans who are trained by Tibetan eye care experts.