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.