ORCID

Abstract

SIGNIFICANCE This article reviews educational standard, clinical practice, research advances, and challenges associated with optometry in Nepal and provides critical considerations for contemporary and new optometry programs in countries with similar socioeconomic status and health care systems. Optometry education started in Nepal in 1998 with the primary objective of addressing the unmet needs of eye health and vision care in the country. Over the last two decades, this program has made significant contributions to facilitating and improving the delivery of quality eye care and establishing the nation's eye health system as an exemplary model in South Asia. Despite the positive impact in a short time, optometry education and the profession continue to face several challenges, including a shortage of training resources and facilities, poor quality control and regulation of practice standards, lack of professional recognition, limited pathways for entry to governmental jobs via the national public service commission, and limited clinical and academic opportunities in existing eye care programs. This article reviews current education and clinical practice standards, highlights research advances, and discusses present and future challenges in sustaining and improving the quality of education and advancing the scope of practice of optometry in Nepal. Given the limited access to primary eye care services in Nepal, appropriate professional recognition and integration into the national health system, and initiatives targeted at improving the delivery of optometry education in alignment with successful international models may provide a long-sought solution to making eye care services accessible to all and lowering the burden of visual impairment in the country.

DOI

10.1097/opx.0000000000001980

Publication Date

2022-11-11

Publication Title

Optometry and Vision Science

Volume

100

Issue

2

First Page

134

Last Page

142

ISSN

1040-5488

Embargo Period

2023-12-28

Organisational Unit

School of Health Professions

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