Comprehending the magnitude and diverse array of abnormalities, ophthalmic issues and the very functioning of the Ocular Surface had been among the more daunting areas of ophthalmology and by its intrinsic nature the area had remained a challenge to ophthalmologists the world over, since a very long time. The Ocular Surface and Keratoprosthesis Conference (OSKON-2012) bearing the theme ‘From Darkness to Light’ organized by Sankara Nethralaya, three years ago, as a high level interaction in the field, could justifiably take the credit for being the first major initiative towards bringing together ophthalmologists specializing in the area of ocular surface from the world over and enabling a critical dialog among them. If the OSKON 2012 made a great beginning by succeeding in consolidating the apprehensions and questions of these professionals, in terms of issues plaguing the ocular surface and helped in delving deeper into the field, the OSKON 2015 conducted recently was a high level exercise in exchanging the latest techniques, findings, sharing experiences and knowledge from across the globe, as its theme ‘A world eye view of the Ocular Surface’ aptly summed up. The event got off with a simple curtain raiser held at the Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium, Sankara Nethralaya main campus on the 9th of July 2015.
Senior Ocular Surface professionals from Sankara Nethralaya, Dr.Geetha Krishnan and Dr.Bhaskar Srinivasan took the audience back on a fascinating ‘Journey of the Decade – 2005-2015’ with a racy narration on how the dawn of the century witnessed the ophthalmic fraternity pondering over and delving deeper into the realm of the Ocular Surface, rapid strides made in the area in terms of successful sight restoring refractive surgeries, finding of new solutions to Corneal blindness caused due to internal and external factors like effect of chemicals, the advent of ‘Modified Osteo-Odonto Keratoproshtesis’ (MOOKP) the revolutionary tissue process evolved by Professor Giancarlo Falcinelli. Dr.Geetha followed this up with a quick introduction of the distinguished participants, their areas of specialization and distinctions; she had a high word of praise for ‘Rotary International’ for their generous grant for research in Cornea and the great work being carried out by the ‘Dr.G.Sitalakshmi Memorial Clinic for Ocular Surface disorders’ at the Sankara Nethralaya main campus.
Speaking on the occasion Dr.SS.Badrinath, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya recalled the stellar role played by Dr. H.N Madhavan, Director, L&T Microbiology Research Centre, Sankara Nethralaya in growing Corneal Stem Cells in the laboratory, he had a high word of praise for Dr.Prema Padmanabhan, Dr. Geetha Krishnan and Dr. Bhaskar Srinivasan and recalled the tireless efforts of Late Dr.G.Sitalakshmi in mastering and adopting the MOOKP process at Sankara Nethralaya and her Guru Professor Falcinelli’s wish that Sankara Nethralaya should not confine itself to being a treating centre but also a teaching centre for MOOKP. It was a moment of great pride for the host institution when the visiting dignitaries invited on stage by Dr.Geetha to share their views on the meet, showered their praise on it by observing that a visit to Sankara Nethralaya was an opportunity to learn and that they have come to learn, share and collaborate; the crowning glory of the day of course was the tribute from the legendary Professor Giancarlo Falcinelli who in his inaugural message lauded the MOOKP Centre at Sankara Nethralaya as the best among all the centres in the world which he had trained on the process.
The three day high level deliberations that followed the curtain raiser witnessed in-depth discussions, debates, exchange of new procedures and processes in the Ocular Surface arena and proved to be a great learning experience to the participants.