“Punar Nethra” – a one stop guide to parental training for children with Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI)
Why: Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) is a brain-based visual condition. It is becoming one of the leading causes of pediatric visual impairment in developing countries due to improved neonatal care resulting in increased survival of children with birth-related complications. Children with CVI could have associated developmental delays and disabilities which makes it very crucial for them to avail early and prompt visual assessment followed by habilitation/rehabilitation based on their visual status. We understood that with COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that came along, children with special needs and their families have been affected to a greater extent from availing these services from therapists in-person. Considering these hardships our multidisciplinary team of the Special children clinic (SCV) and Vision enhancement clinic (VEC) took the initiative to create a Youtube channel to empower, guide, support and train parents and caregivers of children with CVI to carry out the training by themselves at their houses.
What: Children with CVI can have heterogenous clinical presentations varying from just vision-related problems to concurrent disabilities such as delay in motor, speech, hearing, sensory and cognition. This channel contains videos for all age groups, variants and deficits of children with CVI. These videos are prepared and made by Ms. Saranya Sethuraman, head of the department, VEC and Ms. Jannet Philip, graduate research scholar, Elite school of optometry in Tamil and English. The specialty of this channel is that it is made customized based on the individual child’s visual needs and demands. After a comprehensive eye and vision assessment including a detailed functional vision assessment by the ophthalmologist and special children clinic optometrists, the child undergoes a Tele or an in-person consultation with the rehabilitation specialist. Based on their needs and preliminary training, the parents are advised specific videos from which they can ‘learn’ and ‘verify’ their steps and performance at home. Apart from these videos, other training materials and worksheets were shared through WhatsApp and email with the parents.
Conclusion: The main goal of this channel is to reach out to families in need and empower ‘parents’ to be ‘teachers’ for their children with visual difficulties. This initiative helps the parents to be able to provide the children with appropriate guidance with confidence through collaboration with Sankara Nethralaya’s multidisciplinary team, especially with the advent of “Tele-rehabilitation” services at the hospital during COVID-19.
Acknowledgement: A big shout out to the entire team: Dr Meenakshi Swaminathan, senior pediatric ophthalmologist who conceptualized this idea and was the sole reason behind this initiative, Dr Jameel Rizwana Hussaindeen, honorary pediatric consultant optometrist, who has been a constant source of motivation by providing ideas and valuable feedback and Ms. Saranya, Vision Rehabilitation and early intervention specialist, VEC and her team for being an integral part and sharing her expertise in this area. We extend our gratitude to the SN multimedia team for shooting, editing and uploading the videos and finally to the families of SN-CVI patients without whom this would have been impossible. You can also be a part of this initiative by subscribing to the channel and sharing this with friends, families, professionals and mainly with the ones in need of such care, during these uncertain times!
*Written informed consent has been obtained from the patient/parent for the photos
Satadina Svaraarchana – 100 days of Classical and semi-classical music concerts
Satadina Svaraarchana is a unique program of 100 days of Classical and semi-classical music concerts presented on social media through YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp, to raise awareness and funds for Sankara Nethralaya USA. This program was coordinated by Prasad Rani, Trustee of Sankara Nethralaya LA Chapter.
Commencing on Vijaya Dasami, one of the most auspicious festivals in India, Satadina Svaraarchana presented one concert each day and culminated in the 100th day on Friday, 16th April 2021. 108 artists from countries around the world including USA, India, UK, and Australia showcased their artistic talents to raise funds for indigent patients. The age of the performers ranged from 7 years to 70 years with 70% of the participants being women and girls. Around 50% were children and young adults – a great sign that the next generation is also equally engaged in learning classical art forms like music.
Over 20,000 viewers viewed, offered encouragement for the concerts on social media, and donated to bring light to a poor patient’s life. 100 percent of the comments on YouTube were positive in nature.
Last but not the least, two of the performers are worthy of special mention:
Ms. Pervela, born with a serious medical condition that confines her to bed, has not allowed her health to prevent her from following her passion for music. She performed her concert for this event, all the songs, from the confines of her bed.
Ms Yellapragada, with a rare skin condition that prevented her from stepping out of her home, and could not even attend the regular school, learned music at home through a teacher and was happy to perform the concert for Sankara Nethralaya
Since 2020, when the pandemic shook the world, Sankara Nethralaya USA team have taken up their fundraising activities on social media to increase awareness of the organization among kindhearted people around the world and to raise funds for supporting its cause.
Prasad Rani, coordinator of the event expressed sincere thanks to all the participants who made this program successful. He also thanked Sri Bala Reddy Indurti, President, Sankara Nethralaya USA, for the, the encouragement and support for the logistics and completion of the program.
Bala Indurti thanked the volunteers Prameela Gopu and Rama Shyam Appali for developing beautiful video to showcase all the singers, brand ambassadors and volunteers in Satadinaswararchana 100th day video for streaming to major TV channels TVAsia Telugu, manaTV, manaTV International, SakshiTV, TV5 and US1. Thanks are due to Prasad Rani for dedicating time for this mega project to raise funds to Indigent blind patients in India.
Bala Indurti congratulated and thanked Dr. Girish Rao, President Sankara Nethralaya and the following Sankara Nethralaya USA EC and Board of Trustees for giving video messages and encouraging Prasad Rani and Satadinaswararchana team. Sri S.V. Acharya, President Emeritus Sankara Nethralaya USA, Sri Moorthy Rekapalli, Vice Presdent; Sri Sudhakar Mattu, Secretary; Sri Sowmia Narayan, Joint Secretary; Sri Raja Krishnamurti, Joint Treasurer; Smt Leela Krishnamurthy, Past President; Sri KG Venkata Raman, Past President; Sri Krishnaraj Bhat, BOT; Dr. Raj Modi, BOT; Dr. Bellamkonda Kishore; Dr. Reddy Urimindi, BOT; Sri Srini Vangimalla, BOT; Sri Partha Chakravarthy, BOT; Sri Rajasekhar Aila, BOT; Sri Shankar Setty, BOT; Sri Varad Rajan, BOT; and Nataraja Natyanjali dance director Neelima Gaddamanugu.
Bala Indurti also thanked the following TV channels and the management for providing live streaming and unconditional support.
Srinivasa Ganagoni, CEO TV Asia Telugu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sqOhX9lM0E
Sridhar Chillara, CEO manaTV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5GKAKBgVKQ
Sridhar Chillara, CEO manaTV International: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy9YMqmHFDk
Harish, TV5 North America correspondent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyZOELnXBWM
Simha, SakshiTV, North America correspondent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkle2d6S1IU
Thanks are due to the following Chennai team members Malathi Krishna, Sunita Doss, Theagarajan, Suresh Kumar for all the support to make this program successful.
Thanks are due to Srinivas Rani for sharing the daily updates in Facebook and Whatsapp.
19th DR E VAITHILINGAM MEMORIAL SCIENTIFIC SESSION
In memory of the late Principal Dr. E. Vaithilingam, Elite School of Optometry (ESO) initiated a national scientific session in 2002 to encourage optometrists and optometry students from all over India to present their research work. This year, the 19th Dr EV Memorial Session was conducted as an online session between March 25th and 28th, 2021. The session focused on the theme “Celebrating Optometry. Optometrists, postgraduate optometry students and fellows of optometry from 47 institutions attended the session. The events were live streamed in YouTube and Facebook. The four days session had almost 2000 views in the YouTube alone.
The inaugural session started with welcome address by Dr. Anuradha, Principal, Elite school of Optometry. Dr T S Surendran, Vice- Chairman, MRF shared his fond memories about Dr EV. Dr. Girish S Rao, President, Medical Research Foundation gave a special address. Dr Rashima, Scientific Committee shared the overview of the sessions. Dr Premnandhini, and Dr Shrikant Bharadwaj, LVPEI and alumni of ESO shared their thoughts about Dr E Vaithlingam. Scientific sessions started with a guest lecture on “National Education Policy and changes required in optometric education” which was delivered by Dr. Krishna Kumar, former Principal, ESO. The key note lecture was given by Ms. Jude Stern, Head of Knowledge Management, International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) & Ms. Jissa James Knowledge Manager, IAPB on “Role of Optometrists in delivering World Report on Vision”. The session also featured key optometric focus areas on “Allied Health care professions bill and readiness of optometric education and practice” by Ms Lakshmi Shinde, CEO, Optometry Council of India, “Role of Community optometrist in Glaucoma management” by Dr Subash Sukumar, Glaucoma consultant, Manchester eye hospital, UK and “Roles of Optometrists in managing concussions” by Dr Aparna Raghuram, Boston Children eye hospital and Asst. Professor, Harvard Medical College. An exclusive workshop on “Developing and Evaluating an International Virtual Grand Round” was conducted in collaboration with ESO-SN and Deakin University, Australia by Prof James Armitage, Ms Amanda Edgar, Dr N Anuradha, Dr Viswanathan and Mr Praveen Kumar. The research journey of ESO was compiled and presented as a video by the organizing team and the post graduate students
This year’s scientific session witnessed 17 oral presentations and 54 e posters that were selected from the 300 plus submissions. There were almost 700 comments received for the e-posters that were compiled and shared with the participants. Feedback for better scientific submissions were shared by the internal and seven external judges. This was immediately shared to the participants as a video. There were contests on 4 key areas of optometric practice, education, community rotations, clinical practice and research. There were around 150 submissions to the contests. The details about the winners of the scientific session are shared below. The organizing and scientific committee of the EVM share their heartfelt gratitude to the participants and the well-wishers for their overwhelming support.
Great works start with a small beginning. This scientific journey of ESO as the Dr E V Memorial Scientific Sessions will remain and grow as a platform for scientific deliberations with the blessings of Mahaperiyava.
Details of winners of the 19th Dr E Vaithilingam Memorial Scientific Session:
|Best Oral Presentation||Regular||Ms Vijay Reena Durai, LVPEI|
|Best Oral Presentation||Student||Ms Sangeetha Nagarajan, ESO|
|Best Poster||Regular||Ms Jacinth Priscilla J, LVPEI|
|Best Poster||Student||Ms Maanasi Mahalingam, ESO|
|Education||Ms Evneet Kaur, ESO|
|Community||Ms Kalaiyarasi. ESO|
|Clinician||Ms Akshaya Balakrishnan, ESO|
|Research||Ms Swetha, ESO|