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Lumbini Eye Institute's Surgical Eye Team is 70% Female!

A Seva-supported surgeon and assistant at Lumbini Eye Institute remove a blinding cataract from a patient's eye.

The surgeon looks through her microscope. A small incision is made, a cloudy lens carefully removed, a new lens inserted. It all happens in less than 15-minutes. The patient walks out. Another patient is guided in.

Throughout the day, the surgical team at Nepal's Lumbini Eye Institute will perform more than 100 cataract surgeries that will restore sight and transform lives.

In addition to the life-changing impact the surgeons have on each person they serve, this particular Seva-supported surgical team represents another major success—70% of the surgeons at Lumbini are women.

In Nepal, like much of the world, the surgical profession has traditionally been male dominated. Women face cultural and financial obstacles that make the road to becoming a surgeon much harder than for their male colleagues.

In order to overcome these barriers, Seva has actively identified and recruited promising female medical students and has supported their residency training in ophthalmology. "Seva knows that in order to create real change, we need women serving in leadership roles at eye care institutions throughout the developing world," explains Dr. Suzanne Gilbert, Senior Director of Seva's Innovation & Sight Program. She adds, "Lumbini is a perfect example. This institution was once run exclusively by men, but thanks to Seva's strategic support, Lumbini's leadership and surgical team today are mostly women." Lumbini also serves as a mentor institution and role model to other clinics and hospitals in Nepal.

When women serve as leaders on hospital surgical and executive teams, this sends a strong message that helps to open doors and break down barriers for the many women who will follow in their footsteps.


Lumbini Medical Director, Dr. Salma.

In other Seva news:

Seva has recently received a major grant from Standard Chartered Bank which will help us to expand our work in India and Cambodia. Read more

Seva's Senior Director of Innovation and Sight, Dr. Suzanne Gilbert, has been honored with the Dr. Venkataswamy Award by our longtime partner Aravind Eye Care Institute in India. Read more.

In 1978, Dr. Larry Brilliant and his wife Girija brought together an astonishingly diverse collection of doctors, epidemiologists, academics, spiritual figures and one beanie-wearing clown to help found the Seva Foundation, which has helped restore the sight of nearly 4 million people. Although for many that accomplishment might have been enough for a lifetime, Larry Brilliant has had a brilliant career before and after Seva. His life before Seva is at the heart of his memoir "Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventure of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst Disease in History."

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