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Ophthalmic centres of excellence strike common cause

Staff Reporter

They will set optimum standards of eye care services and help shape national policies


  • The policies will aim to achieve blindness control targets
  • To provide education, conduct clinical research
  • Infrastructure building important in rural areas

    CHENNAI: A group of five tertiary care ophthalmic centres of excellence in India will collaborate for setting optimum standards of eye care services and help shape national policies on achieving blindness control targets in the country.

    The broad framework of collaboration among the institutions was finalised during the opening day of the Indo Israel Ophthalmic Congress (`i to i') initiated by Chennai-based Sankara Nethralaya on Saturday.

    The partnering institutions, besides the host, are L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, Shri Ganapati Nethralaya in Jalna, Maharashtra and Sankar Dev Nethralaya, Guwahati, Assam.

    Addressing presspersons, Gullapalli N. Rao, chairman, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, said the broad areas of collaboration are creating standards for eye care services in the country, providing education, clinical research and guiding national blindness control policy.

    "The immediate goals would be to collaborate in clinical research and build a platform prior to standardising eye care."

    S.S. Badrinath, chairman, Sankara Nethralaya, said the aim was to bring together talent and technology, which often took stand-alone positions. With almost 1.5 million of India's 1.4 billion people visually challenged, the country shouldered the biggest burden of global blindness.

    Michael Blumenthal, pioneer of the `Small Incision Cataract Surgery' and educator for Indian ophthalmologists during periodic visits here over the past 25 years, said the level of ophthalmic expertise in India was outstanding.

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