March 2017

State of Art study on the prevalence of ophthalmic disorders among members of consanguineous families, by Sankara Nethralaya researcher is recognized with a Doctorate by nation’s prestigious seat of education

It gives us great pleasure and joy to share with members of the Sankara Nethralaya family that Ms. S. Srilekha from the SN ONGC Genetics & Molecular Biology Department, Kamalnayan Bajaj Institute for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the research arm of Sankara Nethralaya has successfully completed the viva voce examination for her PhD thesis titled “Genetic Analysis of Consanguineous South Indian Families with Leber Congenital Amaurosis and Retinitis Pigmentosa using Homozygosity Mapping” at the  BITS – Hyderabad campus. Her external examiner was Dr. Chitra Kannabiran, Scientist, Molecular Genetics Laboratory from L.V.Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad.

Ms Srilekha pursued her research and study on this highly critical topic and made her observations under the able assistance and supervision of Dr. N. Soumittra, Associate Professor, SN ONGC Genetics & Molecular Biology Department.  Her thesis work and presentation were extremely well received and appreciated. Sankara Nethralaya family conveys its hearty Congratulations to Dr. S. Srilekha on her proud achievement and to her supervisor Dr.N.Soumittra for successfully mentoring and guiding her first PhD student!!! and wishes them many more accolades and recognitions.

Head of Sankara Nethralaya’s niche department chosen to spearhead Australia’s initiatives to promote bilateral relationship with the South Asia region

We take immense pride in sharing that Ms. Jameel Rizwana Husaindeen, Head of Binocular Vision Therapy Clinic, Sankara Nethralaya and Lecturer, Elite School of Optometry (ESO) is among the 10 elite faculty members from India to be honoured as ‘Australia Award – Endeavour Ambassador’ by the Department of Education and Training, Australian High Commission, New Delhi, to foster bilateral relations between Australia and the South Asia region through collaborative education and research programs.

Please click here for a detailed account of the award and the challenging role of the awardees

Sankara Nethralaya’s eye bank wins highest accreditation in its field!

It was a moment of crowning glory for the Sankara Nethralaya family when the CU Shah Eye Bank, the institution’s most advanced and well equipped facility and key player in its battle against corneal blindness was awarded the ‘Quality Certificate’ by ‘SightLife’ a high profile member of the ‘International Agency for the prevention of Blindness’ (IAPB) and non-profit solely focused on eliminating corneal blindness the world over. The CU Shah Eye Bank named after one of the institution’s earliest and most generous supporters, has been a part of Sankara Nethralaya almost since its inception, the resource, a critical partner in treating corneal blindness has also been in the forefront of creating awareness on eye donations in the country and enjoys the reputation of being among the oldest and well administered eye banks in the country, although it was yet to be formally certified for its quality and functioning.

The long overdue recognition was fulfilled when SightLife, the world’s leading body which lays quality guidelines and norms, monitors and evaluates eye banks on the most stringent parameters the world over, accredited the facility with its ‘Quality Certificate’. The process was set in motion when Shri K.Hari Babu, Manager CU Shah Eye Bank and his team initiated the compilation of a directory on quality procedures, processes and best practices governing eye bank operations the world over combined with Sightlife’s own directives formalizing eye bank operations and quality standards for eye banks in India, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Eye Bank Associations of India. This exhaustive work proposed to serve as a ‘Standard operating Procedure’ (SOP) for the eye bank was prepared with expert guidance and assistance from Senior Consultants of the institution actively involved in the management and growth of the CU Shah Eye Bank almost since its inception, namely Dr Prema Padmanabhan, Medical Director, Eye bank, Dr Rama Rajagopal, Deputy Director, Eye Bank and Dr N.Radhika Senior Consultant, who also played the key role of the editor of the document. The SOP was presented to the world body and approved by it, as a next step the members of  SightLife were invited for a first hand observation of the functioning of the CU Shah Eye bank in compliance with the aforesaid parameters. The auditors from SightLife conducted their audit on the critical functionalities and capabilities of an eye bank namely donor eligibility, tissue recovery, processing storage, tissue evaluation and distribution and completed the same in September 2016 the audit team was thoroughly satisfied with their observations, which manifested itself as an overwhelming 100% pass!! for the facility.

The ‘Quality Certificate’ was received from SightLife on behalf of CU Shah Eye Bank, Sankara Nethralaya by Shri K.Hari Babu, at a glittering awarding ceremony at the SightLife Managers Annual meet, held at the Taj Vivanta, New Delhi on 4th January 2017, the award was presented by Ms Claire Bonilla, Chief Global Officer, SightLife in the August presence of Ms Shubhi Sood, Quality Assurance officer, SightLife India and Shri Atul Kapoor, Asia-Pacific Manager, SightLife. It is noteworthy to mention here that the CU Shah Eye Bank is the first Eye Bank in the State to be honoured with this high accreditation.

In a rare gesture of its appreciation of his initiative and efforts the leader and forerunner setting and implementing quality standards for eye banks, certified the Manager of the CU Shah Eye Bank and driving force behind winning the accreditation, Shi Hari Babu as a prompt and punctual ‘Time Keeper’ at the awarding ceremony.

The Sankara Nethralaya family conveys its deep appreciation to Shri Hari Babu for his sincere efforts in streamlining and enhancing the operations of the CU Shah Eye Bank with expert assistance from senior members of the institution and expresses its hearty Congratulations!! To him for the honour bestowed on him and the branch of the institution managed by him, by the global leader and partner committed to eliminating corneal blindness.

Three ‘National Board for accreditation of Healthcare Providers’ (NABH) accredited centers, an in-house laboratory quality certified by the ‘National Board for accreditation of Laboratories’ (NABL) the nation’s highest quality certifications and now an international ‘Quality Certificate’ for its eye bank; the wheel has gone a full circle indeed for an institution committed to quality and nothing but quality in all its endeavors.

Senior anaesthesiologist from Sankara Nethralaya makes a critical contribution to the practice of ‘Ophthalmic regional blocks’

It was a glorious moment for the institution which can take justifiable pride in underlining the critical need to develop ophthalmic anaesthesiology as a distinct and specialized branch of anaesthesiology, the institution which played a key role in the formation of the Ophthalmic Forum of the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists (OFISA) and its tireless champion Dr VV.Jaichandran, Senior Anaesthesiologist and Organizing Secretary of OFISA. After a series of laurels and accolades for his path breaking findings, at the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists Conference (ISACON-2012), World Congress of Ophthalmic Anaesthesia (WCOA-2012), Ophthalmic Forum of the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists Conference (OFISACON -2013), British Ophthalmic Anaesthesia Society meet in 2015 (BOAS-2015). Dr VV.Jaichandran was invited as an expert guest speaker at University of Berne and conduct a hands on workshop for needle blocks at the satellite symposium with workshop/wet lab to reality at the Jules Gonin Eye Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland and at a workshop titled Tecniche di anestesia in oftalmogia and workshop anestesia peribulbare at the Ospidale San Guiseppe, Milan, Italy during mid February 2017. Reporting the event in Reseau Ophthalmo Anesthesiologique Helvetique, Switzerland’s premium magazine on ophthalmology, Dr Friedrich Lersch who was a participant in these events commented that Dr VVJaichandran’s lecture and hands on training were a great learning experience for the anaesthesiologists of Berne and his talk titled ‘Ophthalmic Anaesthesia practice in India’s largest Eye Care Hospital’ and ‘Anatomy for regional blocks’ would not be forgotten for years to come, by the audience.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Madras) has recently accredited the expert in ophthalmic anaesthesia as a co-inventor of the “Real-time view mannequin’ for practising regional ophthalmic blocks, a device which promises to enhance the process significantly. Readers would recall that his in-depth workshop on ‘Simulation in regional blocks using ‘eye -practising orbital device (POD) along with Mr Biswarup Mukherjee of IIT-M at the WCOA-2012 at Ankara won critical acclaim and triggered great interest in the real-time usage and availability of the device and its likely cost, with the distinguished audience. The invention is a result of the collaborative and concerted research efforts between Dr VV.Jaichandran and the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-M). Patent for the product has been applied for at the national level and it is expected to be available commercially once the same is received.

We take great pride in sharing with the Sankara Nethralaya family that Dr VV.Jaichandran has in a rare gesture of goodwill and reciprocity to the institution, pledged to donate his share of the ‘Royalty’ or recurring sale proceeds of the device to the ‘Medical Research Foundation’. The Management and members of the Sankara Nethralaya family express their hearty Congrats to Dr VV.Jaichandran for his trailblazing contributions to the field of ophthalmic anaesthesia and his role in developing this critical device which would go a long way in enhancing its practice. We would also like to express our sincere appreciation to him for committing the rewards of his hard work to his institution, in the true spirit of ‘Disseminating of Knowledge for the common good’ one of its founding principles.