The London Vision Clinic Foundation Is Launched!

Nepali Porter

Prof Dan Reinstein’s dream of providing the gift of sight to the poor and suffering of the developing world, has taken a huge step forward: the London Vision Clinic Foundation, with a mission to create humanitarian Laser Eye Surgery, was officially launched in London on September 16th.

Amid the historic setting of the Royal Institution, guests and patients learned the details of the ambitious and ground breaking project to offer the highest quality of Laser Eye Surgery first to remote Himalayan communities via the Tilganga Eye Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal; and in the future to establish refractive surgery units in other developing countries.

The presentation of a mini documentary film was made (and the speakers were introduced) by Sky News presenter Charlotte Hawkins who spoke of her own “life-changing” experience of Laser Eye Surgery.

“Although my prescription was not too bad – about -5.5- I was finding it increasingly difficult to read the small auto-cue screen”, she told the audience in her introduction. “Thanks to Dr Dan, I can now see like a hawk.”

Charlotte joins an illustrious list of celebrities in the fields of sport, media, fashion and business, who are supporting the Foundation by adding their names to the committee.

“This is a way of helping people who are suffering by allowing them to work again and support their families – hopefully this is the start of great things to come”, said the breakfast news presenter.

The Nepalese Ambassador to the UK, Dr. Suresh C. Chalise, gave his government’s whole-hearted backing to the project and said that he was “delighted” to be a part of it. The audience learned more about his country and he reminded us of the crucial role played by the Nepalese Ghurkhas in British military history and currently in Afghanistan.

The land locked country is home to eight of the world’s ten highest mountains including the highest, Sagarmatha, known in English as Mount Everest. Sixty nine per cent of the 25 million people live below the official poverty line (2 USD a day) and the main income is from tourism, carpets, textiles, rice, jute, sugar and oilseed mills: as well as cigarettes, cement and brick production.

It is one of the poorest countries in the world – its economic development has been hindered by political instability and, among its other problems, is a heavy reliance on agriculture – over 80% of the population are subsistence farmers scratching a meagre living in isolated areas.

When these people have difficulties with their eye sight they cannot reach for a pair of glasses or apply for straightforward surgery to correct the problem – in effect their lives are over.