About Ridley Eye Foundation


The Foundation

The mission is to provide funding for the delivery of sustainable surgery for the most needy peoples of the developing world who suffer from cataract blindness.


Our focus is currently treating patients who live in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in Nepal.

The Ridley Eye Foundation (REF) provides funding to solve cataract blindness, through small incision surgery, for those of modest financial means in this part of the Developing World.

We have spent many years supporting and teaching cataract surgery in many parts of the world including, more recently, Yemen, Egypt, and India.  The Ridley Eye Foundation (REF) now provides funds in Nepal for locally organised medical camps to deliver small incision cataract surgery in remote areas above 2000m (6,500 ft) of the Himalayan mountains. We have already established REF Nepal to facilitate delivery and funding of these objectives.


Having previously provided support to ophthalmic centres in many parts of the world and, more recently, Yemen, Egypt, and India, the Ridley Eye Foundation is now seeking to work in Nepal where our criteria are: relative political stability; an increasingly developed medical infrastructure; reliable epidemiological research; but with limited resource and capacity to service the remote regions of Nepal where the incidence of blindness is increasing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the timeline and the implementation of this strategy. Nevertheless, we are currently funding cataract surgery in Community Clinics in the Kathmandu Valley and the North East Highlands.

Where it began

The Ridley Eye Foundation was established in 1967 by Sir Harold Ridley.  Having invented intraocular lens (IOL) surgery in the cure of cataract blindness, Sir Harold wished to ensure that those of modest financial means of the Developing World should also benefit from the cure to cataract blindness. The Foundation has also funded a number of research projects, including work in relation to Behcet’s Disease and to Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD).



projects complete


of preventable blindness in Nepal is due to cataracts


of patients in Nepal refuse surgery due to cost