Opththalmic Assistant Training Program

Opththalmic Assistants (OAs) are the mid-level ophthalmic professionals. They perform eye examination, diagnose most of the ocular disorders, treat common ocular disorders, practice refraction and prescribe eye glasses/contact lenses, perform various investigative procedures, identify cases requiring specialist care and refer them to the ophthalmologists, assist the ophthalmologists in various types of ocular surgeries and other sophisticated procedures perform minor extra ocular surgeries independently carry out pre-operative and post-operative care, provide eye health education and counseling, organize and manage eye camps and conduct other community outreach activities such as school eye health program, etc. run the primary eye care centers acting as an in charge and conduct community level primary eye care trainings. 

Owing to their proven outstanding performance and efficiency, the OAs are regarded as the back bone of the eye care services in Nepal. The history of the inception of the training of this cadre of human resource is three decades long. Following the Nepal Blindness Survey (1980/81) a master plan was formulated in order to develop and expand the eye care services in Nepal. To develop the required human resource, ophthalmologists were produced by sending Medical officers abroad for the training. At the same time it was strongly felt necessary to develop the cadre of ophthalmic paramedical who could perform the aforementioned activities. For this purpose, three batches of OA training were conducted under the Government of Nepal / WHO Prevention and control of Blindness Programme (PBL) starting from 1981. As this training was very effective and successful to serve its purpose, it was continued under Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh (NNJS) in affiliation to the council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT). The training has been conducted at Himalaya Eye Hospital - Pokhara, Lumbini Eye Institute - Bhairahawa, Fateh Bal Eye Hospital - Nepalgunj, Sagarmatha Choudary Eye Hospital - Lahan, Rapti Eye Hospital - Dang & Bharatpur Eye Hospital - Bharatpur.

About 400 OAs have been produced so far under this training program. This training program was conducted in skill based basis till the year 2009. And now, since the year 2010 this training program is being conducted as an academic course as Diploma in Ophthalmic Science. Brief description about the training program is given below: 

Yearly Intake: 40 Seats for each training centre
Course Duration: 3 academic years.
Eligibility for application: The candidates must have passed S.L.C or equivalent examination in at least has second division from recognized institute with compulsory Mathematics, English and Science subjects.
Note: The quotas for scholarship, sponsorship, entrance examination and selection criteria are as per the provision of the CTEVT rules and regulation.