Aravind News Team

My help is always with you to help you in your progress and your work - The mother

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Often termed as silent thief of sight, the disease goes unnoticed until it reaches an advanced stage. Vision lost due to glaucoma is irreversible and treatment can only prevent further vision loss. The number of people with glaucoma is expected to increase to 76.0 million in 2020.To sensitise the public about the seriousness of the disease, every year, March 12-18 is observed as World Glaucoma Week.  Aravind Eye Hospitals arranged a series of programmes to create awareness about this disease.

Aravind Eye Hospital, Theni has been implementing Vision for All project to provide comprehensive eye care services to eliminate needless blindness in Theni and develop it as the best eye care zone in the state of Tamil Nadu. Recently, under this project the hospital has started working with government health facilities to promote screening for Retinopathy of Prematurity.

It was a proud moment when Aravind’s senior scientist, Dr. P. Sundaresan received the prestigious award given by Medical Council of India from the Honorable President of India, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee. 

More than 80% of the work force being women, elaborate programmes were organized in various centres on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

News about these and many more feature in this issue.

MCI’s Prestigious Honour for Dr.P.Sundaresan
New Delhi, March 28


Dr.Sundaresan, Senior Scientist and Head of the Department of Molecular Genetics, Aravind Medical Research Foundation received the Medical Council of India- Hari Om Ashram Alembic Research Award for 2010 from the Honorable President at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.
Honour for Aravind Eye Hospital, Salem
Salem, March 31
Aravind Eye Hospital, Salem was honored by the NGO, People Development Initiatives for serving the poor community mainly through outreach. This NGO works towards the development of women in the rural community and also spreads awareness about TB, HIV and other communicable diseases. As part of TB awareness programme held at Semmandapatti, Aravind – Salem conducted a Refraction camp for the 120 women mobilized for the meeting. The team screened 118 people and identified 22 cataract patients. During the meeting, Ms.Sasikala, Outpatient department received the award.
Vision for All – ROP Screening
Aravind – Theni, March
Under the Vision for All project, Aravind – Theni has started ROP screening under the guidance of DR.P.Namperumalsamy, Dr.Dipankar Datta and Dr.Hema (Medical Officer – Retina). AS part of the programme, Mr.Balasiva, Manager – Vision Centre visited government hospital, Cumbum to raise awareness about ROP screening amongst the doctors and nurses. Awareness posters and pamphlets were displayed in the NICU wards in the hospital. Staff nurses were briefed on the importance of ROP screening to prevent avoidable blindness. Altogether eight babies were screened. Two babies with advanced stage of the disease were referred to Aravind – Madurai for further evaluation and treatment.
Awareness Programme on Low Vision
Aravind – Tirunelveli, March 1
Aravind, Tirunelveli conducted the programme for the teachers of special school under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Tirunelveli District. 88 teachers attended. 
Women’s Day Celebrations
Aravind – Salem, March 8


Several games such as rangoli competition, singing, etc were organized by Aravind – Salem. Prizes were distributed to the winners. 

Aravind – Madurai, March 6-8
Several motivational and life skill talks were organized by the HR department. Ms.Sridevi , Faculty, CBI Training Academy gave a talk on Self-Actualization. Ms.Poonjaram, Guest Lecturer, Rural Development Department spoke on the importance of self hygiene. Sr.Rani from Bhramma kumaarigal Samajam talked about Women, the Incarnation of Sakthi (Sakthiyin Avatharam Pengal).

Aravind – Coimbatore
In collaboration with Indian Academy of paediatrics - Women’s wing, Coimbatore, an awareness talk was organized on the topic on Personal health and hygiene. Ms.Sangeetha welcomed the gathering, Dr.Lakshmi Shanthi gave an overview on the origin of Women’s Day. Dr.Lavanya gave a speech on importance of consuming nutritious and healthy food and following regular exercises. Dr.Jayashree Ashwath spoke about Reproductive Health and other health issues, which was really useful to all the young girls who participated in the function. Dr.Ahila Ayyavoo explained about obesity. Dr.Usha Elangovan conducted an interactive quiz competition. The programme came to end with vote of thanks delivered by Dr.Kalpana Narendran.
Update on Cornea Disorders
Aravind – Salem, March 25
The CME was inaugurated by Dr.M.Srinivasan, Dr.Revathy, Dr.Manohar Babu and Dr.Anuja. A total of 120 participants attended the CME which consisted of scientific sessions, talks and a quiz programme. An informal get together of participants with Dr.M.Srinivasan was arranged where fellows and PGs presented cases to the senior faculty.
Observing World Glaucoma Week 
Aravind, March 12-18
Aravind - Theni 
Aravind - Theni organised a Glaucoma screening and Awareness camp on March 12 in the hospital premises. Dr.P.Namperumalsamy, Dr.Krishnadas and Dr.Dipankar Datta attended the camp.A total of 323 Patients were screened and 14 new patients were identified.

Aravind - Tirunelveli
Awareness programmes were organized in various Aravind centres as following: 
Aravind - Tirunelveli joined hands with Indian Medical Council (Tirunelveli Branch) to organise a Mini- Marathon from VOC ground Palayamkottai till Anna Stadium. The marathon was flagged off by Mr.Thirugnanam, IPS, District commissioner of police in the presence of Dr.K.Jothi Deva Sargunam (District sports and welfare officer) and Dr.R.Ramakrishnan, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind - Tirunelveli. All Glaucoma doctors, PGs and fellows, MLOPs and members from sports clubs participated. Prizes were distributed to the first 40 winners. An exhibition was organized for the public in the hospital campus which was inaugurated by Mr.Vijayakumar - Assistant Commissioner, Tirunelveli. 

Glaucoma screening camp and awareness meet were organized at MS University. A total of 173 patients were screened of which 9 were newly diagnosed as glaucoma suspects and two were review patients. A total of 208 people were screened in a camp held at Sankarankovil, of which 2 were new and 59 were review patients. In a camp held at Kottar- Nagercoil, totally 283 patients were screened of which 19 were newly diagnosed as Glaucoma.

An awareness seminar for prize winners of marathon, patients and their attendants was conducted in the hospital. It was led by Dr.Mohideen, who gave a talk on glaucoma, types, investigations and management. Dr.R.Ramakrishnan gave an awareness talk on All India Radio and Dr.Mohideen gave an awareness talk which was telecast daily on All India Radio.

Banners were displayed in prominent places to create awareness. Pamphlets and notices were distributed to the public. 

Aravind - Salem
AEH Salem organized awareness rally with an objective of creating awareness in the minds of general public about Glaucoma. Rally was inaugurated by Mr.George, IPS, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Salem city. The rally started from Aravind Eye Hospital, Salem and went up to Kondalampatti round and headed back to the hospital.   

Aravind – Madurai
Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai in association with Southern Railway Divisional Railway Hospital organised an eye screening camp. The Camp was inaugurated by Dr.G.Sahoo, Chief Medical Superintendent and Dr.Krishnadas in the presence of Dr.Padmalatha, Additional Chief Medical Superintendent and Dr.K.Giriprakash, Sr.Divisional Medical Officer. 176 persons were screened in the camp, of which 34 patients with Glaucoma and cataract were advised for follow up and glasses were prescribed for 39 patients. Another camp organized in Theni screened 323 persons. Glaucoma awareness programme was arranged for the out patients and attendants visiting Aravind, Madurai. A live talk with patient interaction on glaucoma was given by Dr.R.Sharmila on Rainbow India. An article about Glaucoma was published in Kannoli magazine to create awareness among the general public. Street Play was performed by professional artists in various areas of Madurai creating awareness on the disease and its impact on quality of life.

Aravind- Pondicherry, March 12-18
Various events were held during the week to raise awareness among the people about glaucoma. On March12, an awareness rally was organized which was flagged off by Dr.Kiran Bedi, Lt. Governor of Puducherry. Similar rally was organized on March 17, flagged off by Mr. T.P.Rajesh, I.A.S., Cuddalore District Collector. Eye Donation awareness talk was given by Dr.Annamalai on Suriyan FM, Puducherry, on March15. A one week awareness exhibition was conducted at Aravind Eye Hospital Pondicherry from March 12-18 which was attended by patients and attendants. 
Motivational Talk
Aravind – Madurai, March 24


Motivational session by Mr.Sivalingam, author of VizhiVaelvi was organised for the coordinators and Admin Staff. In the session, he focused on the importance of being honest, transparent and how to lead a simple life.
Technical Training on Accessibility and Universal Design
Banglore, March 23-25


Ms.G.Krishnaveni, Ms.Flora and Mr.Damien underwent the training programme organized by CBM India Trust at GASS, Doddabalapur. They were given training to clearly understand the disability and diversity and become familiar with access audit tool and accessibility standards. They got a hand-on experience in conducting access audit and got familiarized with universal design and its application. The training programme helped them develop the skill in identifying, prioritizing and recommending with practical solution. 
ReLoad Workshop
Aravind – Madurai, March 25-26


The ReLOAD Phacoemulsification (Review Learning on Advancement and Development) workshop was conducted at Aravind-Madurai in association with Alcon. Thirteen doctors from Aravind - Madurai, Tirunelveli, Pondicherry and Coimbatore participated in this workshop which covered both basics and advances in phacoemulsification including complication management. At the hands on wetlab session, each doctor performed anterior vitrectomy, managed posterior capsule rupture and practiced insertion of iris hooks in animal eyes.
Facelift for Nurse’s Hostel Kitchen
Aravind – Madurai, March 27


The kitchen in the Nurses’ Hostel at Aravind – Madurai was renovated and remodelled incorporating the adjacent area. The area which is quite spacious now has all the modern amenities which aid in easy and healthy cooking.
Graduation Ceremony of Tiny Tots
Aravind – Madurai, March 25


Staff children of Janakiamma Child Care centre observed their graduation day with a variety of programmes. Kids performed their talents through songs, skit and dance. All the senior members of Aravind eye Care System were present.
Observing World Optometry Day
Aravind – Pondicherry, March 23


Dr.Thanikachalam, Programme Officer, National Programme for Control of Blindness, Puducherry was invited as guest of honour for the programme. Dr.K.Veena, Dr.Josephine Christy and MLOPs (Refraction) actively participated in the quiz programme. Prizes were distributed to the winners.
Aravind Eye Hospital Madurai Wins Corporate Cricket League Tournament 2017
Madurai, March 11


The third season of Corporate Cricket League, organised by Madurai Round
Table (MRT-14),was conducted, in league-cum-knock-out basis, on the Vickram College of Engineering and Polytechnic grounds.  Aravind team and Abhi Honda shared the Winners’ Trophy.  Dr.Bharanidharan, Scientist, AMRF and Mr.Syed  Ibrahim Madani, IT and Systems were the captain and Vice-captain respectively. Dr.Bharanidharn received the Best Batsman award.The team members included Mr.Meenatchi Sundram ( IT), Mr.Kathirvel (AMRF), Dr. Sathish (Glaucoma fellow), Mr.Saravanan (Videographer),  Dr.Sugan (PG),  Mr.Yesunesan,(Faculty associate), Mr.Udayakumar (Faculty associate), Mr.Suburam (Electrician), Mr.Kanagaraj (Telemedicine), Mr.Ranjit  Raja (Assistant Librarian)  and  Mr.Abdul Aziz Hakkim (Graphic artist). The team was managed by Mr.S.J.Rajan and Mr.Ramanathan.
Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress
Singapore, March 1-5


Dr. Sundaresan 
- Multiplex Cytokine Analysis in the Aqueous Humor of Patients with Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma  

Dr. Usha Kim
-  The severe lower lid Ectropion

Dr. Manoranjan Das
- Combined Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP) with sutureless glueless scleral fixation IOL (SFIOL) : An novel technique (Poster)
Parivartan 2017: An update on Orbit & Oculoplasty and Paediatric Ophthalmology &Strabismus
Coimbatore, March 12


Dr.Usha Kim 
- Surgical management of ptosis and optimizing results  VIDEO BASED
- Orbital inflammation – Diagnostic dilemma unfolded – Dr.Usha Kim
Needs Assessment Visit to Reiyukai Eiko Masunaga Eye Hospital
Banepa, Nepal, March 19-21
Mr.Ganesh Babu and Dr.Rohan made  needs assessment visit to the hospital in the third week of March. They went on a tour of the facility and gave necessary recommendations for improvement.
Onsite Instruments Maintenance Training
Moshi, Tanzania, March 13-25


Aravind tam consisting of Mr.Poornachandran and Ms.D.Ganga conducted instruments maintenance training programme for twelve participants at KCMC Hospital, Moshi, Tanzania. The team helped repair many ophthalmic diagnostic equipment which were kept idle for years. 
Onsite Review Meeting of Partner Hospitals 
Chaitanyapur, March 24-25


A performance review meeting of LAICO’ s partnering hospitals coming under SCALE, Lavelle and So-Hum Projects was held at VMA Netra Niramay Niketan, Chaitanyapur. 39 participants  from 13 hospitals attended.
Vision Building Workshop for Aravind’s Secondary Centres
Aravind – Pondicherry, February 23-26


Aravind’s secondary hospitals coming under SCALE project were brought in for a vision building and strategic planning workshop at Aravind- Pondicherry. Teams from Aravind- Salem, Udumalpet and Tirupur participated.
Seminar on Clinical Proteomics and Proteomics Day Celebration
Aravind Medical Research Foundation, March 18


This is an annual event conducted to honor the formation day of the Proteomics Society, India.  Prof.Dharmalingam, Director of Research at AMRF introduced the event to the participants and highlighted the role of Proteomics Society, India in spreading education for research in Proteomics. Eminent scientists namely Prof.Kumaravel Somasundaram from IISc, Dr.Karunagaran from IIT-Madras, Prof.Anuranjan Anand from JNCASR, Prof.Balamurugan from Alagappa University and, Dr.Subbulakshmi from Pondicherry University were invited to give lectures. Scientists from AMRF - Dr.Gowripriya, Dr.Bharanidharan and Dr.Ramprasad also addressed the participants, which included post-graduate students as well as research scholars. Through the talks, the participants were introduced to the various “omics” approaches and their application in a clinical setting. This one-day seminar was supported by Proteomics Society of India.

Enrolments for March 2017 at Aravind Eye Care System

Course title
Training Centre
Enrolments for March 2017
Long Term Fellowship Programmes - For Ophthalmologists
Anterior Segment & IOL Surgery
Comprehensive Ophthalmology
General Ophthalmology
Paediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus
Short Term Courses - For Ophthalmologists
Clinical Observership Program In Diagnosis and Management Of Glaucoma
Lasers in Diabetic Retinopathy
Neuro Ophthalmology
Small Incision Cataract Surgery
Short Term Courses - For Paramedicals
Training for ocularist
  • Meltzer ME, Congdon N, Kymes SM, Yan X, Lansingh VC, Sisay A, Müller A6, Chan VF, Jin L, Sasipriya KM, Guan C, Vuong Q, Rivera N, McCleod-Omawale J, He M. Cost and Expected Visual Effect of Interventions to Improve follow-up after Cataract Surgery: prospective review of early cataract outcomes and grading (PRECOG) study. JAMA Ophthalmol 2017 Feb;135(2):85-94.
    Article View
  • Karuppannasamy D, Raghuram V, Thankappan L, Andavar R, Devisundaram S. Inverse Association between Serum Bilirubin Levels and Retinopathy in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. J Clin Diagn Res. 2017 Feb;11(2):NC09-NC12.
    Article View
  • Ray KJ, Lalitha P, Prajna NV, Rajaraman R, Krishnan T, Srinivasan M, Ryg P,   McLeod S, Acharya NR, Lietman TM, Rose-Nussbaumer J; Mycotic Ulcer Treatment Trial. The Utility of Repeat Culture in Fungal Corneal Ulcer Management: A Secondary Analysis of the MUTT I Randomized Clinical Trial Group. Am J Ophthalmol. 2017 Apr3.
    Article View

  • Haripriya A. Resident Training: The Aravind Experience. Review Ophthalmol. Apr 2017.
    Article View

  • Niemeyer KM, Gonzales JA, Rathinam SR, Manohar Babu, Radhika T, Anuradha K, Porco TC, Browne EN, Rao MM, Acharya NR. Quality of Life Outcomes from a Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Antimetabolites for Intermediate, Posterior, and Panuveitis. Am J Ophthalmol. 2017 Apr 13. pii: S0002-9394(17)30158-7.
    Article View

  • Yang Y, Zhang L, Li S, Zhu X, Sundaresan P. Candidate Gene Analysis Identifies Mutations in CYP1B1 and LTBP2 in Indian Families with Primary Congenital Glaucoma. Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2017 Apr;21(4):252-258.
    Article View
Women's Day Celebrations
March 10


On the occasion of International Women's Day, Ms.Chandra, Professor, Meenakashi College gave a lecture. She touched upon the different roles a woman in each stage of her life.
Awareness Talk on Cancer
March 11


Dr.Krishna Kumar Rathinam, Oncologist, Meenakshi Mission Hospital explained about the disease and ways to prevent it. The staff members felt the session very informative and useful.

March - 2017

RS Puram
Paying (New & Review) 56,220 8,542 29,319 33,559 28,782 6,684 3,774 11,281 2,764 5,135 2,697 1,88,757
Free:Direct walk-in (New & Review) 16,800 2,355 7,734 11,003 9,899 NA 734 1,478 1,243 961 NA 52,207
Comprehensive Eye Camps 9,801 1,438 4,996 8,607 7,846 NA NA 873 NA 353 NA 33,914
Diabetic Retinopathy camps 570 NA NA 818 979 NA NA 90 NA NA NA 2,457
Refraction Camps 1,968 325 616 531 2,069 NA NA NA NA NA NA 5,509
Mobile Refraction Unit NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
School Screening camps NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
Paediatric Camps NA 600 NA NA 385 NA NA NA NA NA NA 985
Vision Centres 20,191 5,610 10,865 3,774 6,262 NA 943 NA 1164 NA NA 48,809
Community Centres / City Centres 9,062 2,121 2,605 2,630 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 16,418
Total OP Examinations 1,14,612 20,991 56,135 58,292 58,852 6,684 5,451 13,722 5,171 6,449 2,697 3,49,056
Total Number of Camps 38 12 30 37 29 NA NA 7 NA 3 NA 156
Service Proportion of Cataract Surgeries
Paying 3,648 432 1,445 1,691 1,696 357 183 725 147 185 97 10,606
Free (Direct) 3,369 336 940 1,656 1,227 NA 184 259 247 104 NA 8,322
Camp 3,358 239 969 2,064 2,115 NA 41 303 87 45 NA 9,221
Total Cataract Surgeries 10,375 1,007 3,354 5,411 5,038 357 408 1,287 481 334 97 28,149
Note: NA - Not Applicable