Aravind News Team

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
- Helen Keller

Dear Readers

Crossing another milestone, the number of Aravind Primary Eye Examination Centres has reached thirty four with the opening of a new centre at Kariyapatti.

The services rendered by Aravind were acknowledged when two of Aravind doctors, Dr. R. Ramakrishnan and Dr. Usha Kim received Vocational Excellence Awards by Rotary Clubs. At another ceremony organised by the Lions’ Clubs, Aravind’s Senior Camp Manager, Mr. S. Selvam was honoured.

Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank went on with its eye donation awareness creation activities by organising lectures in different places. After a long gap of almost 10 years, Aurolab organised its Dealers' Meet at LAICO during which the services rendered by the dealers were acknowledged.

News about these and many more find place in this issue.

Aravind News Team

Awards and Accolades
Vocational Excellence Awards
Nagercoil, July 3
Vocational Excellence Award

Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Chief Medical Officer of Aravind - Tirunelveli received the Vocational Excellence Award conferred on Aravind Eye Care System in recognition of its adherence to highest ethical standards, and promotion of humanitarian service in eradicating avoidable blindness in the human society.The award was given by the Rotary Club of Nagercoil on July 3.

Dr. Usha Kim, Chief-Orbit and Oculoplasty clinic, Aravind - Madurai was conferred the Vocational Excellence Award by Rotary Club of Madurai North West on July 4 for her noble and committed services to the needy and visually impaired patients through free eye camps and providing light of life to see the world again.

Special Events
Inauguration of Kariyapatti Vision Centre
Madurai, June 11
Kariyapatti inaugurate by Dr. Lakshmi
A new vision centre was inaugurated at Kariyapatti by Dr. Lakshmi Rahmatullah on June 11. Senior members of Aravind attended the function.
Mission Day Observation
July 7
Mission day at Aravind Eye Hospitals
Mission Day was celebrated across all Aravind Hospitals. The programme began by observing a moment of silence. Bhajans were sung and kolams and special flower arrangements were made during the occasion. Video clippings about Dr. V were shown. The staff and the guests shared their association with the Chief at the programmme.
News and Events
CME Programme on Current Concepts in the Diagnosis and Management of Glaucoma
Government Ophthalmic Hospital, Chennai, June 12
  Dr. R. Ramakrishnan
- Recent advances and surgical management of glaucoma
He also chaired the session on Diagnostics in Glaucoma
Advisory Committee Meeting
LVPEI, Hyderabad, June 13
  Dr. V. R. Saravanan, Aravind - Coimbatore participated in the Advisory committee meeting organised by Allergan for the launch of Dexamethasone laser.
Excursion Programme for MLOPs
Aravind – Tirunelveli, June 13
MLOPs who have completed 5 years of service were taken on a one day tour to Kanyakumari and Bay Watch, Water amusement park and Thovalai Murugan temple.
At another programme organised, all the MLOPs of Tuticorin Community Centre were taken to The Great Royal Circus.
Phaco Training Center at Chittagong Eye Infirmary and Training Centre
Chittagong, Bangladesh, June 15 – 18
Dr. Haripriya Aravind at Chittagong
Dr. Haripriya Aravind, Chief – IOL and Cataract Services, Aravind – Madurai formally inaugurated the phaco training centre at CEITC, Chittagong. She worked with some of their phaco surgeons and performed live surgery as part of teaching. Lectures on Phacodynamics and Recent Advancements in Phaco Technology were given.
Lions Award Day
June 20
The Best Organiser award
An Award Day function is organised by each Lions District every year in order to recognise and appreciate the services rendered by the Lions clubs in the district. The Lions District 324 A2 (includes Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Karaikkal, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Karur, Pudukottai and Trichy revenue districts) organised its Award Day on June 20 at which Aravind's senior Camp Organiser Mr.S.Selvam was presented 'The Best Organiser' award by the District Governor Ln. R.R. Kannan MJF and Ln. P.L. Meenakshi Sundaram District Chairman - Eye Camps. The award was given in recognition of his outstanding performance in organising camps in collaboration with various Lions Clubs in the district during 2009-10.
Guest Lecture
Aravind – Madurai, June 26
  Dr. V. Siddhartan, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association, TMS Eye Hospital, Salem delivered a guest lecture on Criticism Management.
Eye Donation Awareness Programmes
  The RAIEB conducted eye donation awareness programmes at Apollo Hospitals and Madurai Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (MMHRC) on June 17 and 19 respectively. The ward coordinators, paramedical staff and nursing supervisors participated in the programme and pamphlets and posters were handed over to them.
At the programme, Ms. Hepsiba Jawahar, Eye Bank Manager, RAIEB gave an awareness lecture on the importance of eye donation.
Eye donation awareness programme was organised at the Panchayat Union Office, Madurai East on July 6 .Ms. Hebsiba Jawahar addressed the gathering consisting of Village councillors, and panchayat employees. Around 40 members attended the progarmme.
At another awareness programme held at Railway Hospital, Madurai on July 7, Dr. Kasthuri Jeyaraj, Chief Medical Superintendent, Dr. Yasodha, Railway Hospital -  in–Charge, S.J. Baskar, Chief Ophthalmologist, ward in charges, and paramedical staff participated.
Guest Lecture at PIMS, Pondicherry
June 18
  Medical Officers and Senior Fellows of Retina clinic, Aravind - Pondicherry delivered guest lectures at Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences.

Dr. Pankaja Dhoble, Consultant
- Risk factors, pathogenesis, classification and clinical features of diabetic retinopathy
- Diabetic screening - Role of physician

Dr. Manavi D Sindal, Medical Officer
- Recent advances in management of Diabetic Retinopathy

Dr. Dheeraj Kewlani, Senior Fellow
- Management of Diabetic Retinopathy

Awareness Exhibition on Paediatric Eye Diseases
Kallidaikurichi, June 23- 25
Paediatric Exhibition at Kallidaikurichi
An exhibition was conducted at Kallidaikurichi Vision Centre to create awareness among public especially parents and children about the various paediatric eye diseases. Posters, charts and models explaining paediatric eye problems were diplayed. Vegetables and nuts that are good for eye health were also discussed and displayed during the exhibition. Around 150 persons visited the exhibition.
School Teachers Training Programme
Aravind – Pondicherry, June 29
Teachers training at Pondicherry
A training programme on basic eye screening was conducted for school teachers in which 50 teachers from private and government schools of Villupuram, Thiruvanamalai districts participated. Thirteen schools with a total strength of 16400 from Villupuram district and eight schools with strength of 15250 from Thiruvanamalai district were covered under this programme.
Dr. R.D. Ravindran, CMO welcomed the gathering and briefed on the genesis of Aravind Eye Care system. Dr. Dhivya, Senior Resident spoke about the anatomy of eye and common eye diseases and Dr.Veena, Chief - Paediatric ophthalmology spoke on common eye disorders in children and importance of nutrition in eye care for children. Ms.Malathi and Ms.Devi, Refractionists demonstrated visual acuity measurement procedure.
Glaucoma Forum Meeting
Chennai, June 27
  Dr. R. Venkatesh, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry attended the Glaucoma Forum monthly Meeting and delivered a lecture on Laser Assisted Deep Sclerectomy.
Grand Rounds
Aravind – Madurai, July 1
  Grand rounds of the last week was indeed a different and a special one wherein Aravind achievers in the international fora were felicitated. They included Dr. Haripriya Aravind, Dr. R. Venkatesh (winners of ASCRS Film Festival) and Dr. N. Vidhya (Merit Certificate in ICO Clinical exams). Dr.Haripriya and Dr. Venkatesh presented their award winning videos and shared their experiences during the making and presentation of the videos.
Dr. S. Aravind Reminisces Dr. C. K. Prahalad's Acumen
IIT – Chennai, July 3
  Dr. S. Aravind, Administrator, Aravind – Madurai shared his experiences with Dr. C. K. Prahalad at his memorial service organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) at IIT, Chennai. Video
Glaucoma Clinic gets New Equipment
Aravind - Tirunelveli, July 5
OCT inaugurated at Tirunelveli
Glaucoma clinic - Aravind, Tirunelveli purchased a new equipment, Anterior segment OCT which was inaugurated on July 5 by Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, CMO. Doctors, MLOPs and Admin staff attended the function.
LAICO Happenings
Inauguration of the Course on Community Outreach and Social Marketing of Eye Care Services
LAICO, June 18
Participants at course
There were 8 participants (India - 6, Nepal - 2) for the course. Dr. S.R. Krishnadas, Dr.K. Ilango, Mr. R.D. Thulasiraj attended the inauguration along with LAICO Faculty.
Faculty Members Visit the Fellows in Eye Hospital Management during their Externship
  As part of the Faculty visit to the Fellows in Eye Hospital Management during their externship posting, Mr. Sanil Joseph visited the Fellows posted in VMA Netra Nirmay Niketan, Chaithanyapur, Priyamvada Birla Aravind Eye Hospital, Kolkata, Grameen GC Eye Hospital, Bogra, Bangladesh and Islamia Eye Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh from  June 21- 26. Mr. Dhinakaran Assistant Administrator, Aravind-Tirunelveli visited Sankar Foundation Eye Hospital, Vaizag on June 22 in this regard. The purpose of the visits was to understand the work the Fellows were doing there, to provide necessary support and guidance and to get the feedback from the organisation.
Consultancy Visit
Guanzhou, China, June 21- 28
  Dr. Thiruvenkatakrishnan, Cornea Consultant, Aravind - Pondicherry and Mr. Suresh Kumar, Faculty, LAICO, Madurai visited five county hospitals and two private hospitals at Guanzhou. Dr. Thiruvenkatakrishnan participated in the capacity building workshop at ZOC, Guanzhou and delivered lecture on Sustainable Outreach Programme.
E.D in Buckingham Palace for SSI Social Gathering
London, June 23
Mr. R.D. Thulasiraj at Buckingham Palac

Mr. R.D. Thulasiraj participated in the social gathering arranged by Sightsavers International (SSI) held at Buckingham Palace, London in conection with its 60th anniversary. A number of ambassadors, SSI board of trustees and heads of blindness combating societies over the world attended the event which was graced by the presence of HRH Princess Alexandra, the chief patron of SSI. Ms. Elizabeth Kurien, Country Director – India, SSI also participated in the event.

Vision Building and Strategic Planning Workshop
LAICO, June 5 - 10
Participants at Vision Bilding and strategic planning workshop
The workshop was inaugurated by Ln. N.A.K. Gopalakrishna Raja.  Each hospital team made presentation on the existing challenges faced by them and spoke about the goals of their hospital. Mr. R.D. Thulasiraj, Executive Director, LAICO delivered the key note address and Mr. Suresh Kumar, LAICO Faculty presented the workshop objectives and overview. Twelve participants from three hospitals in India participated in the workshop.
Training Programmes
Course title
Training Centre
Total Number Trained as on May 2010
Enrollments for June 2010
Long Term Fellowship Courses-For Ophthalmologists
Fellowship in Anterior Segment/Intraocular Lens Surgery
Fellowship in Cornea
Fellowship in Glaucoma
Short Term Courses - For Ophthalmologists
Diagnosis and Management of Glaucoma
IOL Microsurgery
Small Incision Cataract Surgery
Lasers in Diabetic Retinopathy
Short Term Training in Vitrectomy (Virtual)
Paediatric Counsellors
Management Courses
Community Outreach and Social Marketing of Eye Care Services
Aurolab News
Dealers' Meet
LAICO, July 5
at Dealers
Nearly 60 dealers from all over the country including those who are with the Aurolab from its inception were present. Mr. Sivanand, Marketing Manager- Domestic introduced the dealers to the audience. In his welcome speech, Dr. P. Balakrishnan, Managing Director – Aurolab acknowledged the invaluable services rendered by the dealers in achieving the milestone of crossing the 10 million mark in IOL sales. Dr. P. Namperumalsamy, Chairman – Aravind Eye Care System, in his speech exhorted the unfailing support of the dealers in promoting Aurolab products. Mr. G. Srinivasan, President, GOVEL Trust, emphasised that the dealers can play a great role in ensuring customer satisfaction for Aurolab products. Dr. G. Natchiar, Vice Chairman, AECS pointed out that Aurolab is primarily a service – oriented organisation and not a business unit. She commended the services of dealers who act as a bridge between the public and Aurolab.  Professor D.V.R. Seshadri from IIM, Banglore, in his inspiring address, stressed the need for a strong and friendly relationship between manufacturers and dealers citing examples from companies like Tata Steels and The Caterpillar.
Later the team were taken for a visit to Aurolab and then to Kodaikanal.
Monthly Patient Statistics

June - 2010

Paying (New & Review) 44,720 6,812 22,148 25,220 18,809 117,709
Free (Direct walk-in) 14,966 2,187 5,943 8,588 5,607 37,291
Regular Eye Camps 6,794 1,415 4,304 3,198 5,772 21,483
Diabetic Retinopathy camps 385 212 297 785 - 1,679
Refraction Camps 1,143 336 - 179 - 1,658
School Screening - - - - - -
Paediatric Camps 114 - - - 124 238
Vision Centres 5,508 3,704 3,169 1,976 1,674 16,031
Community Eye Clinics 3,441 1,457 3,853 2,858
Total OP Examinations 77,071 16,123


42,804 31,986 207,698
Paying 3,047 400 1,175 1,393 1,883 7,898
Free (including the subsidized camp surgeries) 3,460 271 869 1,544 2,375 8,519
Camp 2,215 212 1,055 1,000 1,499 5,981
Total Surgeries 8,722 883 3,099 3,937 5,757 22,398
Case Study
She had lost all hopes; but regained vision at Aravind

A woman in her fiftees, who had already lost vision  in her right eye came to Aravind- Pondicherry recently with diminishing vision caused by cataract in the left eye. Her apprehension of losing vision in the second eye too was dispelled by the specialist doctor  who told her that he would do his best to restore her vision by I.O.L. surgery. The  doctor's words gave the patient a new hope. And operation was successful.
Rojamani (real name shielded) was injured on her right eye by a flower plant stem when she tried to pluck flowers at the age of 13. The eye became reddish and tearing started. A local eye doctor gave some medicines which solved the problem. However, in due course, she lost vision in the affected eye. As a result Rojamani had to discontinue her school studies and got married at the age  of 19. After sometime, her husband committed suicide due to a family dispute. With no one to support, she brought up her 3 month old baby with the help of her parents and sisters.
From the year 1967 to 2010, Rojamani used to visit 3 or 4 eye camps every year with the hope of regaining vision in the right eye. However, all the eye doctors who examined her eye informed that she  had developed cataract and even if  it is removed, there is no guarantee of regaining vision.
Recently, with the advice of her Chennai based sister, Rojamani came to Aravind-Pondicherry where she was examined. Here also she was informed that the chances of restoring sight are very dim even after surgery. However, surgery may be tried after six months when she may regain vision. Since the possibility of getting sight was remote, Rojamani did not return to Aravind after 6 month. But, as  her vision in the left eye began to diminish during the past 5 months, fear of losing sight in that eye too gripped the patient and she rushed back to Aravind- Pondicherry.
The specialist doctor of the hospital thoroughly examined her and informed that he will try his best to restore vision by an IOL surgery. His words gave her a new hope. The doctor successfully performed the operation.
When the bandage was removed, Rojamani could see everything clearly. With brimming joy, she informed the good news to  her aged father and other relatives over phone. "When I had lost all hopes, Aravind gave me a new hope and today I have regained my sight thanks to the efforts of the doctor"- said Rojamani gratefully.
Source: Ms. Dhanabhagyam and Ms. Varalakshmi           
Script: K.V.S. Lakshmanan