Friday the 13th of July 2012 witnessed the curtains going up at the Sri VD Swami Auditorium on OS-KON 2012, the much awaited conference on Ocular Surface and Keratoprosthesis. It was a befitting trailer to the main show to follow in the weekend, with the audience catching a glimpse of the main artists in Ocular Surface and Keratoprosthesis, including the legendary Professor Giancarlo Falcinelli, acclaimed as the Father of Modern Ocular Surface Research and described aptly as the Michael Angelo of Ocular Surface disorders by Dr. Prema Padmanabhan, taking centre stage and regaling the audience with a smattering of Tamil. The gathering on the dais was a veritable who is who in the Ocular Surface care and Keratoprosthesis arena with the likes of Dr. James Chodosh, Dr. Christopher Liu, Dr Rama Paolo and Dr Giovanni Falcinelli having flown from half way down the globe to be present on the momentous occasion
The evening’s proceedings started with the rendering of a devotional song by Dr. Niveditha with the theme that in the Kaliyuga that we are living, Moksha or salvation can become a reality by the mere invocation of the name of the Lord of Seven Hills.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Bhaskar Srinivasan gave a detailed note on the probable reasons for Ocular Surface Disorders, listing occupational and life style hazards like computer vision syndrome, long hours spent in air-conditioned offices, pollution, smoking, Stevens Johnson Syndrome caused through drugs and aging . He explained that Ocular Surface Disorders could manifest as a simple dry eye syndrome to causing total vision loss. Dr Bhaskar Srinivasan highlighted that Sankara Nethralaya’s Ocular-Surface clinic was started in 2005 under the guidance of Dr G Sitalakshmi. He added that the first of its kind MOOKP centre in the country was started by Sankara Nethralaya in Nov 2006 and named as Professor G.Galcinelli MOOKP centre in reverence and gratitude to the pioneer in the field of MOOKP and the man who imparted the knowledge and skill sets in this complex area of ophthalmology to Sankara Nethralaya. The MOOKP clinic has over the years acquired the capacity and technology to treat the entire gamut of Ocular Surface disorders.
The organizing Secretary of OS-KON 2012, Dr. Geetha Iyer observed that the prevalence of ocular disorders is becoming disturbingly prevalent the world over, she however added that on the positive side significant strides have been made in the past decade toward the management of these challenging disorders. She emphasized that the focus of OS-KON 2012 was to highlight the same among the ophthalmic community, provide an opportunity to share their experiences and knowledge and to take research in this field to the next level. Dr Geetha Iyer introduced Professor Giancarlo Falcinelli, the Scientific Director of the Odonto –Keratoprosthesis Foundation and the inventor of the revolutionary MOOKP process and the other distinguished dignitaries and foreign delegates on the stage to the audience.
The human element to the day’s proceedings was provided by Dr.Prema Padmanabhan who recalled the tireless efforts and dedication of Dr G.Sitalakshmi which was instrumental in starting the Ocular Surface Clinic and the MOOKP process at Sankara Nethralaya and dedicated the first OSKON to her. She recalled that Dr. Sitalakshmi had the good fortune of training directly under the grandmaster of Ocular Surface disorders and Keratoprosthesis Professor Giancarlo Falcinelli and made the best use of this golden opportunity and praised her as the very epitome of perseverance and self-belief.
The curtain came down on the day’s function with Dr. Geetha Iyer in true Sankara Nethralaya tradition calling every member of the Ocular Clinic team from OT assistants, paramedics, nursing and administrative staff who had contributed to its success to the stage. Their contributions were acknowledged and appreciated by her to a loud cheer and applause from the audience as they proudly stood with the stalwarts on the stage, the memorable moment being frozen on film, a snap they would surely cherish for life.
The two day conference that followed on the 14th and 15th of July 2012 lived up and even exceeded the expectations created by the curtain raiser. The Abbotsbury Hall at the Hyatt Regency, Chennai witnessed deep deliberations, debates, sharing of knowledge and real time experiences in the field of Ocular Surface disorders and Keratoprosthesis by experts gathered from across the world. The conference also provided an ideal platform to showcase the latest therapeutic and diagnostic aids in the field by the pharmaceutical companies.
OS-KON 2012 was truly an eye opener and a great leap in the understanding and treating of Ocular Surface disorders and Keratoprosthesis, just what its organizers had strived for.
Ophthalmologists enhance their vision on ocular surface disorders