Aravind News Team

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
- Mark Twain

Aravind has been conducting Neuro-ophthalmic workshop every alternate years in one of its tertiary eye care centres - Madurai, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore and Pondicherry. This year Aravind – Madurai hosted the event and it turned out to be an enriching and informative experience to the wide range of participants.

Aravind has always been conscious of the significance of being proactive about attracting patients instead of simply waiting for patients to arrive on their own. Over the years, Aravind’s outreach programmes evolved from the traditional cataract –only screening to that of a comprehensive screening for all age groups and from thereon to the setting up of primary eye care centres in rural places. Continuing its journey of expansion of primary eye care facilities, Aravind – Udumalpet opened its second centre at Madathukulam.

Recently, a team from Aravind was in Mongolia, probably the first from the organization to land in this land-locked east Asian country, to run the Instruments Maintenance course supported by Orbis International. The entire course though faced several odds mainly due to language barrier turned out to be a success and the whole episode was a real, at the same time a satisfactory experience to the entire team.

News about these and many more feature in this issue.

Aravind News Team

Awards and Accolades
Puthiya Thalaimurai Tamilan Virudugal Award for Dr. G. Natchiar
Chennai, July 27
Dr. G. Natchiar was awarded the Tamilan Virudugal Award by the television channel Puthiya Thalaimurai for her selfless service in restoring sight to many.
News and Events
Internal Capacity Building
Seattle, USA, June 1 - 24
Mr. Saravanan, Manager, Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank, Aravind - Madurai underwent fellowship programme in Technical operations, Hospital Cornea Retrieval Program, Project Management and Planning  at SightLife, Seattle, USA. He presented the project on Establishing hospital cornea retrieval program in a successful way.

Mr. Saravanan along with Dr. M. Srinivasan, and Dr. P. Vijayalakshmi attended Annual Meeting of Eye Bank Association of America at Portland from June 25 - 28.
Training Program on Eye Donation
Dindigul, June 4
A total of 25 nursing staff attended the programme which was organized at St. Joseph Hospital, Dindigul. The main objective of the programme was to train the hospital staff on hospital cornea retrieval programme. Sessions were handled by Mr. D. Saravanan and Mr. K. Saravanan from Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank.

A similar programme was arranged at Usilampatti Government Hospital on May 30 which was attended by 12 participants. Audience consisted of Nursing superintendents, Nursing staff, Admin staff and Lab team.
Vision day
July 7
The 8th memorial day of Dr. G. Venkataswamy was observed across the Aravind centres and Aurolab on July 7. Bhajans were sung. Employees shared their great experiences with chief. Passages from Illuminated Spirit were read.
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) Leadership Development Programme
Aravind – Madurai, July 11
  Mr. R.D. Thulasiraj handled a session on leadership for heads of the departments of Research stations and Extension services from different places in Tamil Nadu. There were a total of 27 participants and the whole programme was organised by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
Inauguration of Madathukulam Vision Centre
Aravind – Coimbatore, July 16
Aravind Eye Hospital - Udumalpet extended its Community Outreach services by inaugurating the second Vision Centre at Madathukulam on July 16. The centre is about 18kms from the base hospital which covers a population of 73,324 with 12 villages around it. Rotary Club of Udumalpet generously sponsored the space, electricity and marketing for the centre. The centre was inaugurated formally by Mr. Jose, President- Rotary Club of Udumalpet.

Dr. Narendran, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital, Coimbatore presided over the function. On the inaugural day, the team screened 83 patients. Fifteen of them were prescribed spectacles. Close to thirty patients were advised surgery.
Cataract Clinic at Madurai Moved to New Premises
Aravind – Madurai, July 16
Cataract clinic moved to spacious premises in the first floor of the main hospital building. Dr. R. Pararajasegarm and Dr. Suzanne Gilbert inaugurated the centre along with the senior leaders of Aravind.
Neuro-Ophthalmology Update
Aravind – Madurai, July 17-19
Aravind Eye Hospital has been conducting Neuro-Ophthalmic workshop every alternate years in one of its tertiary eye care centres at Madurai, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore and Pondicherry. A 2 day workshop on Neuro-Ophthalmology was arranged at Aarvind – Madurai that focused on postgraduates and practicing ophthalmologists, neurologists and neuro-surgeons. A total of 175 people attended the programme.

Dr. Karl Golnik, Prof. of Neuro-ophthalmology, Cincinatti Eye Institute, University of Cincinatti, USA; Dr. Prem S Subramanian, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA; Dr. V. Jayakumar, JK Institute of Neurology, Madurai; Dr. K.G. Srinivsan, KGS Scans, Madurai and Dr. Santhosh Joseph, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai constituted the faculty apart from the Aravind team.
Employee Welfare Activity
Aravind – Pondicherry, July 18
Dr. S.R. Krishnadas met with all the sanitary staff at Aravind - Pondicherry and gave an informal talk. He encouraged them and motivated them towards a much better performance. He distributed educational funds to their children who are studying in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th standards.
Aravind’s Instruments Maintenance Team in Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, July 26 - 31
With an invitation from Orbis International, an instrument maintenance course of one week duration was held at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Prof. V. Srinivasan and Poornachandran volunteered to run the program along with the Orbis staff. The course was organized by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of Mongolia. A total of 26 participants attended the programme.

The team faced many challenges while running the program. This course was just for five days whereas the regular instruments maintenance courses overseas are of two to three weeks duration. The number of trainees was large. Usually the number of participants is limited to 15, added to that was the language barrier. The trainees knew no English. A translator was provided as interpreter. The most essential concepts in care and maintenance of ophthalmic instruments were explained to them through video presentations. One of the participants has already undergone an Instruments Maintenance course at Madurai and his presence was of great help to the faculty. During the course, the trainees were able to bring back to use a slit lamp and an operating microscope.
Conferences Attended Elsewhere
Oculus 2014
Coimbatore, July 6
  Dr. Usha Kim attended the Oculoplasty CME, 4th in the series of academic fest organised by Vasan Eye care hospital, Coimbatore. She was the invited faculty and presented the topics:
- Ptosis surgical management and optimizing out comes (video assisted)
- Surgical approaches to Orbit (video assisted)

3rd Foresight, Intercontinental
Hongkong, July 19
  Dr. Haripriya Aravind
- Importance of achieving targeted IOP during phaco surgery and benefits and challenging Pathology
21st Annual meeting of Indian Eye Research Group (IERG) - ARVO - India Chapter
LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, July 26 - 27
Faculty and Research Scholars from Aravind Medical Research Foundation participated and presented their work at the 21st IERG-ARVO-IC Meeting at LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad. Prof K. Dharmalingam attended the meeting and interacted with the research groups from other institutes. Dr. P. Sundaresan chaired the session on Retina, Glaucoma and Oncology. Dr. K. Jeyalakshmi and R. Nithya received travel grants for attending the meeting.
Dr. A. Vanniarajan
- A new strategy for rapid screening of RB1 in Retinoblastoma patients
R. Sharmila
- Alleviation of Glucose-induced toxicity by Epalrestat in ARPE-19 cells under Hypoxia
Dr. K. Jeyalakshmi
- Glycoproteomics of tear from mycotic keratitis patients
Dr. S. Senthil Kumari
- Aqueous humor outflow facility response to SB772077B (SB77), a Rho Kinase inhibitor in Human Organ Cultured Anterior Segments (HOCAS)
R. Nithya–
- Identification and comparison of exoproteins of asperigillus flavus causing keratitis
Dr. D. Bharanidharan
-  Next generation sequence analysis pipeline for the molecular characterization of RB1 gene in Retinoblastoma patients
A. Aloysius
- Discordance of Retinoblastoma demonstrated by DNA Profiling (poster)
LAICO Happenings
Follow up Visits: Hilton Cataract Initiative
June 26 - July 9
Teams from Aravind made follow up visits to hospitals involved in Hilton Cataract Initiative – Eye Foundation, Nigeria; Fitsum Birhan Specialty Eye Hospital, Nigeria; Kitwe Central Hospital, Zambia; Innovation Eye Centre, Kenya; and Upper Hill Eye and Laser Centre, Kenya. At the end of the visit, the Aravind team along with each of these hospital groups joined for a workshop at Nairobi, Kenya from July 6 - 7. Dr. Haripriya also joined this workshop.
LAICO, July 15 - 18
Eyexcel this time had a total of 18 teams consisting of 46 participants from countries - Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Nepal, Singapore and The Netherlands. Guest faculty included Dr. Karl Golnik MD, MEd, Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Neurology and Neurosurgery, University of Cincinnati and The Cincinnati Eye Institute, Ohio, USA; Dr. Kathryn Hecht, Ed.D, Former Vice President for Clinical Education, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Volunteer, Seva Foundation, San Francisco, USA; Susan Spinola, Ophthalmic Technician, Volunteer, Seva Foundation, Washington, USA; Dr. R.Pararajasegaram, Global Eye Care Consultant, Geneva; Dr. Suzanne S Gilbert, Senior Director – Innovation and Sight Programs, Seva Foundation, Berkeley, USA and Dr. Preethi Pradhan, Dean – Chitkara School of Health Sciences, Chitkara University, Chandigarh.
Wellcome Trust Meet on Sustaining Health Dialogue
London, UK, July 23 - 24
  Mr. R.D. Thulasiraj attended the workshop organized by Wellcome Trust. The overall focus of the dialogue was to explore how knowledge and technology can support the sustaining health agenda which recognises the importance of social and environmental determinants of health.
Training Programmes

Training Programmes Enrollments for August 2014 at Aravind Eye Care System

Course title
Training Centre
Enrollments for August 2014
Total number trained till
July 2014 at AECS
Long Term Courses - For Ophthalmologists
Fellowship in Anterior Segment / Intraocular Lens Surgery
Fellowship in Cornea
Fellowship in Glaucoma
Fellowship in Orbit & Oculoplasty
Fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus
Fellowship in Retina - Vitreous
Short Term Fellowships - For Ophthalmologists
Orbit & Oculoplasty
Short Term Courses - For Ophthalmologists
Diagnosis and Management of Glaucoma
Lasers in Diabetic Retinopathy
Management of Retinopathy of Prematurity and Paediatric Retinal Disorders
ECCE / IOL Microsurgery
Small Incision Cataract Surgery
Fundus Fluorescein Angiography and Ultrasonography
Training for Ocularist
Short Term Course in Refraction Techniques
Management Courses Non - Clinical Courses
Instrument Maintenance - For Technicians
Management Training and Systems Development for Hospital Administrators / Managers
  • Lewallen S, Lansingh V, Thulasiraj RD.
    -  Vision 2020: moving beyond blindness
    Int Health. 2014 Jul. [Epub] Article View

  • Bhagat P1, Sodimalla K, Paul C, Pandav SS, Ganesh V Raman, Ramakrishnan R, Joshi A, Raut Ahas
    -  Efficacy and safety of benzalkonium chloride-free fixed-dose combination of latanoprost and timolol in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension
    J Clinical Ophthalmology. 2014 Jun;8:1241-1252Article View

  • Karthikeyan RS, Vareechon C, Prajna NV, Dharmalingam K, Pearlman E, Lalitha P.
    -  Interleukin 17 expression in peripheral blood neutrophils from fungal keratitis
    patients and healthy cohorts in southern India

    J Infect Dis. 2014 Jul. [Epub] Article View

  • Revathi R, Parameshwar B, Vikram V, Sowmyalatha M, Anita R, Siddharthan S, Prajna NV
    -  Topical 5% natamycin with oral ketoconazole in filamentous fungal keratitis: A randomized controlled trial.
    Asia-Pacific J Ophthalmology. 2014 Aug. [Epub] Article View

  • Rathinam SR
    -  Eminent ophthalmologist's journey
    TNOA. 2014 May;52(2):178-182

  • Namperumalsamy P, Praveen Muraly
    -  Evolution of scleral buckling surgery for Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment
    TNOA. 2014 May;52(2):184-190

  • Kim R, Bhanu PS Pangtey
    -  Management of age related macular degeneration
    TNOA. 2014 May;52(2):208-214

  • Saravanan VR, Saurabh Arora
    -  Limitations of Anti-VEGF's in its golden era
    TNOA. 2014 May;52(2):222-228

  • Manohar Babu B
    -  Posterior uveitis - preferred practice patterns
    TNOA. 2014 May;52(2):260-273

  • Debarpita C, Ramakrishnan R, Meenakshi R, Arijit Mitra
    -  Congenital vitreous cyst: a rare entity
    TNOA. 2014 May;52(2):276-278

  • Kowsalya A, Lavanya M and Mahesh Kumar
    -  A rare case of CNS lymphoma
    TNOA. 2014 May;52(2):285-287

  • Naresh Kannan B, Praveen Subudhi, Renu P Rajan, Kim R
    -  Inverse drainage of premacular hemorrhage with NdYAG Hyaloidotomy andintravitreal SF6 injection
    TNOA. 2014 May;52(2):290-293

  • Radhika, Vedhanayaki
    -  Newer biologicals
    TNOA. 2014 May;52(2):306-311
Aurolab News
Graduation Day for Production Staff in Aurolab
Aurolab, July 6
  Dr. V.P. Ravichandran – Chief-Free Hospital, Aravind - Madurai was invited as chief guest. The programme began with a prayer song. Ms. Jothilakshmi welcomed the gathering. The guests and the parents lit the holy lamp. The graduating production staff took oath. The roles and responsibilities of production staff were briefed by Mrs. Mahalakshmi. Dr. P. Balakrishnan distributed the prizes to the toppers in the examination. The production staff also shared their experiences of working at Aurolab. Ms. Nandhini gave a vote of thanks.
Monthly Patient Statistics

July - 2014

Paying (New & Review) 50,935 7,047 22,997 30,767 24,360 6,048 4,002 10,454 2,576 159,186
Free (Direct walk-in) 17,443 1,945 6,938 9,967 8,031 13 503 219 814 45,873
Regular Eye Camps 11,844 1,635 3,568 8,218 9,584 - 562 810 - 36,221
Diabetic Retinopathy camps 301 54 - 1,686 784 - - - - 2,825
Refraction Camps 2,727 253 250 736 997 - - - - 4,963
Mobile Refraction Unit - - - - - - - 505 - 505
School Screening camps - - 224 7,126 3,930 - - - - 11,280
Paediatric Camps 117 270 59 134 447 - - - - 1,027
Vision Centres 13,027 4,829 7,215 3,058 3,581 - 814 - 249 32,773
Community Eye Clinics 3,881 1,649 2,344 - - - - - - 7,874
Total OP Examinations 100,275 17,682 43,595 61,692 51,714 6,061 5,881 11,988 3,639 302,527
Paying 3,246 366 2,203 1,515 1,258 206 115 589 111 9,609
Free (Direct) 4,162 278 1,465 1,548 1,046 47 97 60 91 8,794
Camp 4,248 333 1,162 2,603 2,868 - 52 314 43 11,623
Total Surgeries 11,656 977 4,830 5,666 5,172 253 264 963 245 30,026