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World sight day celebrations by Elite School of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya in association with ORBIS India

World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment, and is held on the second Thursday in October each year. This year it has fallen on the Thursday 13th October.

As the day began this year, hundreds of eye care professionals across the country stood up to the commitment of “Stronger together”, the global theme for this year’s WSD. As the day beautifully dawned, it was a wonderful sight to witness hundreds of Optometry students, and optometrists of the Elite School of Optometry along with the school children rising up to the occasion of the World Sight Day through various eye care awareness activities. Six schools in and around the Kooram village of the Kanchipuram district were involved in the WSD initiatives of the Elite school in partnership with ORBIS India, coordinated by the humanitarian minds Mr. Raman from NGO Dassya and Mr. Anbu from NGO Vizguthugal.

The ’Refractive Error Among Children’ (REACH) Program supported by the Orbis India Country Strategic Plan (CSP) under the umbrella of its India Childhood Blindness Initiative (ICBI) and the South Asia Comprehensive Child Eye Health Initiative (SACCHI) at the regional level, is focused at screening 300,000 children between July 2016 – June 2019 in southern India. Elite School of Optometry & Sankara Nethralaya, Units of Medical Research Foundation, Chennai has partnered up with Orbis in this initiative along with 5 other partner institutions across India. The team lead by ESO carried with them the theme “Eye Health for ALL” as the mission statement for 2016 World Sight Day initiatives. On the 13th October, vision screening activities, human chain of school students and optometrists carrying placards on eye care awareness, and drawing competitions on “VizhiyeNalama” to ignite the young minds on the need for eye and vision care were carried out. 609 children were screened in six schools of whom 4 needed spectacles, 4 referred for colour vision defects, 5 for vision therapy and 5 for other ocular problems.

Elite School of Optometry, a unit of Medical Research of Foundation, has established a strong school children outreach model and has covered more than 200,000 children in the last 5 years. Every year, on occasion of the world sight day, innovative ideas on eye and vision care awareness have been implemented by the team to reach out to the general public at large, and this year as well the team stands socially committed to the cause of “Eye health for all”. The ongoingplans for this year’s WSD include a spectrum of eye and vision care awareness activities involving primary, middle and higher secondary school students in and around the Kanchipuram district with plethora of themes addressing every age. The activities that are carried out under the theme include drawing competition on “VizhiyeNalama” (on eye health), slogan writing competition on ” Spectacles – our stylish choice” to drive the need for compliant spectacle wear, Vision club inauguration at selected schools, Installation of plaques that read “ Free from vision impairment” on the premises of 6 schools that have been screened by the team, Vision ambassador training for the school students, Quiz competitions, vision screening activities, listening to eye care stories, interacting with eye and vision care experts, Human chain and walk around the school premise in the village locality and many more!

The celebrations have begun on the13thOctober, and will be continued till the third week of October. The results of the competition would be announced during last week of October along with distribution of winner trophy and prizes.

Through the initiative of REACH and the World Sight day this year, the commitment of Elite school of Optometry and Sankara Nethralaya to serve the underserved children of rural southern India is taking a giant leap and serves as an exemplary example to the social accountability initiatives of this pioneering institution.

Let us all raise up to the cause of this unique initiatives of Elite School of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya and ORBIS, India by spreading the message on “Eye health for all” and “Stronger Together” build a nation free from vision impairment.

For volunteering activities, please contact Elite School of Optometry 044-22316658.

Fellows from Sankara Nethralaya’s Orbit and Oculoplasty department exhibit high levels of subject matter expertise and understanding at key national meet on the niche specialty

The Oculoplasty Association of India (OPAI) the umbrella organization representing and administering the field of Oculoplasty in the country, conducted its 27th Annual Conference at Baroda on the 4th of October 2016.The event witnessed the active participation of students and senior professionals in the field from all over the nation.

We take great pride and pleasure in sharing that an insightful illustration by Dr. Vathsalya Vijay titled “Prostaglandin Associated Periobitopathy: The Orbital Angle” won the ‘Dr.C.Gupta Award’ for the ‘Best Poster’ and a well researched presentation titled ‘Orbital Abscess- A 15 year review at a tertiary eye care centre’ by Dr.Varsha Backiavathy won the ‘Dr.M.Subramanyam Award’ for the ‘Best Paper’ at the prestigious event. Dr.Varsha Backiavathy also exhibited a quick grasp of the subject with her speedy responses and won the 1st prize in the quiz contest titled ‘Plasty Pariksha’.

Let us join in expressing our Hearty Congrats!! to the winners and wish them many more recognitions and accolades in their professional journey!

A revolutionary finding on myopia wins high recognition from prestigious University

It was a proud moment for the entire Optometry community, when Dr. Viswanathan S. HOD, Optometry and Optical services, Sankara Nethralaya successfully defended his thesis on “Near work induced transient myopia (NITM) among Indian subjects” before a panel of expert reviewers at the Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK. This collaborative work between Anglia Ruskin University and the Elite school of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya was carried out at the Srimathi Sundari Subramanian Department of Visual psychophysics, where patients from Sankara Nethralaya suffering from myopia were subjected to detailed assessment and relevant clinical evaluation. Dr. Peter Allen, Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at Anglia Ruskin University and Dr. Krishna Kumar R, Principal ESO served as the supervisors for this research work.

The key findings of his research suggest that Indian myopic eyes have a swifter response in relaxing, which is faster than the time taken for relaxing of myopic eyes among other ethnicities, according to existing data. This phenomenon is argued as one of the possible mechanisms protecting the Indian eye from the Myopia epidemic that is spreading across the globe. This unique research finding of Dr.Viswanathan has been awarded a PhD degree and he is the second ESO graduate to be awarded with a PhD under the aegis of the Anglia Ruskin University. His study has also opened up avenues for collaborative initiatives between the two countries. Dr. Viswanathan’s research has been well received and recognized.

Join us in extending your hearty Congratulations to Dr.Viswanathan!

Ground breaking research findings of Senior Consultant from the Aditya Birla Sankara Nethralaya create major impact at prestigious meet of Retina Specialists of Europe

An in-depth study, observation and interpretation of foveal bulge thickness as an effective prognostic marker in ascertaining Macular Edema, presented by Dr.Kumar Saurabh, Senior Consultant, Aditya Birla Sankara Nethralaya, Kolkata won rave reviews at the 16th EURETINA, the highly prestigious annual meet of the European Society of Retina Specialists, held on the 14th of September at Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. His finding and reviews of the same by senior retina specialists was prominently covered by Retinal PHYSICIAN and Medscape Medical News, two highly prestigious medical journals of Europe.

We take pleasure in sharing the links of the detailed report below

Click here for the detailed news report of Dr.Kumar Saurabh’s finding

Sankara Nethralaya team makes a mark at CME on Ocular Imaging

Radhatri Nethralaya the well known Chennai based eye hospital observed its 8th anniversary celebrations with a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program titled “Ocular Imaging” at the Southern Crown, GRT Hotel Chennai, on 11th September 2016. A quiz contest was conducted on the occasion by Dr.Vasumathy Vedantham, Medical Director of the institution.

We take pleasure in sharing the news that the Sankara Nethralaya team of  Dr. Gondhale Harshal Pradeep, Vitreo Retinal Fellow, Dr. Pranoti Nagevekar pursuing Post Graduate Diploma in Ophthalmology and  Dr. More Pritesh Sakharam pursuing his Post graduation in Diplomate of National Board won the ‘Runner Up’ prize. Sankara Nethralaya family congrats the team on their achievement and wishes them many more laurels and accolades.

Sankara Nethralaya retains its No-1 status in the world of ophthalmology

The ICICI-Lombard CNBC-TV-18 ‘India Healthcare awards’ is among the most stringent quality/service evaluation parameters in the industry, healthcare providers from across the world are evaluated on diverse parameters by a most experienced and distinguished jury in addition to an evaluation of quality, based on real time user experience through the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) the nation’s premium research body.

We take great pride and pleasure in declaring that Sankara Nethralaya has been adjudged as the ‘Best Single Specialty Hospital (Ophthalmology)’ for the year 2015-16. It is noteworthy to mention here that this coveted distinction is being conferred on the institution for the 3rd time since the award was incepted 5 years ago, which is a rare feat. The award was given away by the Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Davendra Fadnavis and received on behalf of the institution by Dr. Pramod S.Bhende, Director Medical Affairs, Sankara Nethralaya, at a well attended ceremony held at Mumbai recently.

This is a proud feather in the cap of each and every employee of Sankara Nethralaya and a call to scale new heights in its journey of service to mankind.

Sankara Nethralaya’s Eye Donation awareness rally at Marina

Sankara Nethralaya has consistently championed the noble cause of eye donation and has been making sincere attempts to enhance the volume of eye donations, to bridge the wide gap prevailing between the availability and need for cornea in transplant procedures, by spreading awareness on eye donation.

Since its inception the institution has been involved in awareness creation initiatives like short movies, lectures, articles and interviews on eye donation in journals and electronic media by its senior consultants and by conducting outdoor events. In continuation of this ongoing effort and as part of the National ‘Eye Donation Fortnight’, being observed nationwide from August 25 to September 8, 2016, the CU Shah Eye Bank, Sankara Nethralaya undertook a string of activities across the city which included eye donation awareness talks at Ford India, Hyundai Motor Company, Vijaya Hospitals, MMM Hospital and a massive human chain rally sponsored jointly with the Lions Club of Anna Nagar conducted at the DG Vaishnav College, Arumbakkam to create awareness on the importance of eye donation and to sensitize the public on the need to donate eyes by pledging the same.

The fortnight long events culminated in a massive awareness rally at the Marina Beach on 08.09.2016 (Thursday) being observed as “National Eye Donation Day”. The Walk titled “Sankara Nethralaya’s Walk for Vision 2016” commenced at 8.00 am at the Labour Statue. The walk had a huge participation of 1,500 members belonging to different age groups comprising students from the NSS, various city colleges, including educational institutions run by Sankara Nethralaya, members of leading corporate houses and senior management and staff members of Sankara Nethralaya. The enthusiastic participants held aloft placards espousing and educating the cause of eye donation and raised their voice drawing attention to the same.

Director General of Police – Civil Supplies CID, Dr Radhakrishnan IPS and Actor Nassar graced the event as the Chief Guest and addressed the audience on the need to donate eyes, flagged off the rally and joined the marchers. This was followed by an awareness talk on eye donation by Dr. T.S. Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Mrs Akila Ganesan Director – Administration, briefed the press on the dismal statistics in terms of availability and need for Cornea for transplant surgeries in the country and the need to overcome the same through increased eye donations.

The event was supported by ‘Bisleri’ the popular packaged water brand by its cost free water bottles and leading edible oil manufacturer ‘Gold winner’ provided Sun Caps and T Shirts to the participants.

The Pioneer in Ophthalmic Anaesthesia conducts key topical meet with great aplomb

As an eye care institution which can take justifiable pride in its stellar role in identifying ophthalmic Anaesthesia as a specialized field and developing it as a niche specialty in India, Sankara Nethralaya was honoured to conduct the specialty’s key annual meet, the ‘World Congress of Ophthalmic Anaesthesia’ (WCOA) in collaboration with the apex body for ophthalmic anaesthesia, the ‘British ophthalmic Anaesthesia Society’ (BOAS) at Chennai. The curtains went up on the 4th WCOA at the Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium at the Sankara Nethralaya main campus on the 2nd of September 2016, the prelude to the event helped Dr V.V. Jaichandran, Chief Organizing Secretary from the host institution give a brief on the WCOA and the objectives of its 4th edition to be held in Chennai in the following two days to the media and to the large gathering assembled on the occasion.

The two day scientific session opened on the 3rd of September 2016 to a packed conference hall at the ITC Grand Chola, a total of 10 national and 25 international faculty members registered for the event and the attendees comprising ophthalmologists, optometrists and anaesthetists were from across the world. The two day session was addressed by eminent professionals from diverse backgrounds and specializations; they were of a highly interactive nature and evoked lively debates and discussions. The sub-tenon’s workshop using goat’s eye and hands on practice simulation won high appreciation as a great learning experience. A riveting audio visual presentation on effective administration of anaesthesia to animals consisting of domestic pets like dogs, cats and birds to large wild animals like the lion, for performing various ophthalmic processes, by Prof Ramani from the Madras Veterinary College held the audience in total fascination. The presenter expressed her thanks to Dr. SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus and Dr. Lingam Gopal, Senior Consultant, Sankara Nethralaya for their invaluable inputs in setting up the operation theatre at the veterinary college many years ago.

Dr.M.Janani from the Sankara Nethralaya referral laboratory and Mr. Nimal Kumar from the IIT-Madras won the 1st and 2nd prize in the ‘Free Paper Presentation’, it is noteworthy to mention here that both the papers were co-authored by Dr.V.V.Jaichandran, Senior Anaesthesiologist, Sankara Nethralaya and Chief Organizing Secretary of the highly successful WCOA-2016.

A pat for budding and seasoned talent, divine enthralling music and contributions for a cause mark MS Amma centennial celebrations at Atlanta!

The Atlanta chapter of the Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust presented an extraordinary, 3 day centennial homage to Bharat Ratna Dr.M.S.Subbulakshmi. The curtains went up on the well prepared and organized event on the 3rd of September 2016 with a brief talk on Sankara Nethralaya and its achievements in research, education and cost free community eye care to indigent patients, by Dr. Seshu Sarma, Vice-President, Sankara Nethralaya, Ophthalmic Mission Trust, Inc, the fund raising arm of Sankara Nethralaya in the USA.  Dr. Sarma also gave an interesting account about the ‘Mobile Eye Surgical Unit’ (MESU) which performs sight reviving cataract surgeries, totally cost free, right at the doorsteps of patients living in the most remote regions of India, with no access to quality eye care.

This was followed by a warm greeting and welcome to the Rasikas assembled in large numbers and dignitaries by Dr. Rao, President of the Hindu Temple of Atlanta.  Speaking on the occasion Chief Guest of the day, Mr. R.Srinivasan, Consul, Indian Consulate, Atlanta, lauded Smt. M. S. for making India and Indians proud by her music.  The most touching and inspiring speech of the afternoon however, was the one given by eleven-year old, Raveena Allie, who was born with no eyes.  Her life story of being brought up by loving foster parents in the US and working her way up by overcoming her disability to become a honor student in middle school and excelling in innumerable extracurricular activities filled the listeners with a sense of confidence that if one is determined, nothing in life is insurmountable. The audience gave her a standing ovation for her rousing message and indomitable spirit.

This was followed by the main event of the day, an enthralling concert for three hours and more with a generous inclusion of MS Amma favorites by Padmabhushan Sudha Ragunathan and party; the resounding applause and requests for more songs captured the spirit of the day.  Dr. Ram Sriram, President of the Carnatic Music Association of Georgia (CAMAGA), made the concluding remarks and a brief review of the concert.  Mrs. Anu Nathan, chair of the essay competition being held to highlight the contributions of Smt. M. S. Subbalakshmi, as part of the Centenary celebrations announced the winners for different age groups

The winners of the essay competition were:

1st Place: Neel Krishnan
2nd Place: Anand Krishnan
3rd Place: Maitri Sridhar

Middle School
1st Place: Nikitha Sridhar
2nd Place: Priyanka Yagneswaran
3rd Place: Shobana Santhanam

High School
1st Place: Nitheyaa Shree
2nd Place: Shashank Ganesan
3rd Place: Shruthi Santhanam

Another recognition being bestowed as part of the Centenary celebration the ‘Bharat Ratna M. S. Subbulakshmi award’ for years of contribution to Indian classical music was awarded to Smt. Subhashini Krishnamurthy – musician, composer, Vocalist, teacher, and Veena player. Ms. Subhashini was presented with a plaque and a blue silk saree, similar to the one that was popularized by Smt. M. S. Subbulakshmi.  The awards were given to the winners by Smt. Sudha Raghunathan who spoke admiringly of the winners and their accomplishments.

The second day of the three-day event showcased Atlanta’s local talent.  The performers were young children and young adults trained in different schools of Carnatic music by eminent teachers in Atlanta. It was most inspiring to listen to children as young as 6 years of age, rendering compositions made popular by Smt. M. S. Subbulakshmi with devotion and dedication.

The last and final day of the three-day event was highlighted by a one-hour video presentation on the life and accomplishments of Smt. M. S. Subbulakshmi, put together by the renowned dramatist and director, Sri Syam Yellamraju.  The video presentation was followed by group singing of the compositions of the great composer, Sri Annamacharya,  popularized by Smt. M. S. Subbulakshmi.  The performers were local music teachers and musicians.  It was a most befitting tribute to the memory of Smt. M. S. Subbulakshmi.

At the conclusion of the program,Dr.Sarma thanked her co-trustees of SN OM Trust,Moorthy Rekapalli and Bala Indurti and the President of CAMAGA,Dr.Ram Sriram and all the others who contributed to the 3 day event. She expressed her deep gratitude to all the donors who contributed generously to the Sahasra Nayanam project and the Chitoor Gift of Sight project. She further expressed her sincere appreciation to journalist Sri Mahadev Desai for his excellent coverage of the three-day event and Mr. Ravi Penumarthy for taking superb pictures of the event.

Fifteenth Dr E Vathilingam Memorial Scientific Session

DR E Vaithilingam Memorial Scientific session conducted by Elite School of Optometry had a remarkable event successively for the fifteenth time on 6th and 7th august 2016 at Sri V D Swami Auditorium. Around 325 delegates participated, Along with them we had 103 delegates from 12 different schools of Optometry located across the country.

The Exuberant two days session started with Welcome address followed by a note about Dr EV Memorial Scientific sessions held annually in memory of late DR E Vaithilingam. Dr Krishna Kumar, Principal Elite School of Optometry gave an interesting talk about late Dr EV’s associations and recalled Dr EV’s memorable experiences with ESO and Sankara Nethralaya.

The highlights of this year scientific session was ESO-SN’s Log MAR & IPVS(illuminated Pocket Vision Screener) charts ,were released by Dr T S Surrendran and Dr Pramod Bhende .A diligent work with extra ordinary minds of optometry team behind the screen for almost an year ,was there to achieve this milestone. Free Paper session, Clinician to Researcher, E-Poster sessions were held. E- Abstract book which was introduced this time ,( ebook/index.html#p=1) received applauds and appreciations from the participants .Along with these initiatives, we as a team thrived to take optometry education into next level by conducting a workshop on Advanced Teaching and Learning methods in Optometry Education for the faculties in the fields of Optometry and Vision Science across the country .Our Guest speakers , ESO Alumnus Dr Hema Radhakrishnan ,Senior Lecturer&Deputy Associate Dean ,University of Manchester,UK gave talk on “Peripheral Refraction & Myopia progression “and DR Richa Verma ,Lecturer from Deakin University ,Australia conducted the workshop on “Advanced Teaching and Learning methods in Optometric Education” with innovative concepts of team based learning (TBL) and problem based learning (PBL) .

On the Second day, Dr Sumathi Narayanan President, Creative Communication& Management Care and faculty of ESO gave a wonderful talk on “Compassionate Communications for Clinicians”. Her talk had roars of applauds from the participants and she had nailed the word compassion, among all our optometry professionals. The Scientific Session came to an end with Quiz , distribution of travel grants, best paper and best poster presentation .Under innovative instruments category Mr. Jude, student of Elite school of Optometry bagged for creating Portable Visual Field analyzer and Ms Jamuna Sri & Ms Indira Kumari from SRM University bagged for creating Construction of portable projectable Hess chart. For video contests Ms Lavanya from Shri Prakash Institute of Optometry won the prize . In free paper session ,Ms Archayeeta Rakshit ,Optometrist Sankara Nethralaya won for her oral presentation on “Effective tool to measure depth of suppression in amblyopes in a clinical set-up “ and Ms Navya Deepthi Davara from Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry won for her oral presentation on “ Eye tracking in visual search experiment in normally sighted adults”. Under E poster category Mr. Jothi Balaji, Manager – Optometry won for “Rubrics for clinical optometry skill evaluation: the Sankara nethralaya experience” and Nikhil, student from Nethradhama School of Optometry won for “The correlation between macular thickness and myopic refractive error”. In Clinician to Researcher session Mr. Amit Bhowmick on “Pseudo convergence insufficiency: clinical findings and management for the primary eye care practitioner-a case report” & Ms Shubikhsa, student ESO on ADEM & NMO-inflammatory demyelination won the prizes. Two days scientific session was a scientific feast in all fields of Optometry and Vision science with sharing of knowledge in different expertise .Awaiting for the next scientific feast.