Kham Eye Centre DartsedoKham Eye Centre (KEC), Tibet’s first dedicated eye hospital, was inaugurated on December 10, 2010. Located in the beautiful city of Dartsedo, this hospital is a non-profit eye care institution specializing in community ophthalmology, clinical services, research, teaching and prevention and treatment of eye diseases. The Kham region is located in western China just south and east of the Tibetan Plateau. It is the traditional border between China and Tibet and is rich in Tibetan culture. Kham is a huge land area and consists of areas of Sichuan, Yunan and Qinhai provinces as well as part of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Its total population is about 3 million people. KEC is jointly funded by Seva Canada and Seva Foundation who are providing human resource development expertise, technical and managerial mentorship and funding for ophthalmic equipment, instruments and supplies. The Kandze Provincial Government supplied funding for the land and construction of the building and will continue to support staff salaries. Kham, like all Tibetan areas, has one of the highest incidence of blindness in the world and, prior to the establishment of KEC, little eye care was reaching those living in its remote corners. KEC, with Seva Canada, is developing a community ophthalmology program with satellite clinics in strategic locations throughout the region that can treat simple eye conditions and refer patients to KEC for surgery. Over the next 5 years, with Seva’s help, KEC staff will be trained in ophthalmology subspecialties including pediatrics, glaucoma and retinal diseases. These skills will benefit patients from Kham and will also be transferred to other Tibetan and Chinese doctors who come to Kham for training.

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