The SN – Sanmar Centre of Excellence for Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SeNSCE SJS) was inaugurated on 11th October 2021 in the H. T. Parekh block, JKCN in association with the Sanmar Group. The inaugural puja of the restricted entry facility was attended by Mr. Vijay Shankar, Deputy Chairman, The Sanmar Group, Dr. Girish S. Rao, President, Dr. T. S. Surendran, Vice Chairman and Director – Paediatric Ophthalmology, Dr. Pramod Bhende, Director, Ophthalmology – Vitreo Retinal, Dr. Rama Rajagopal, and other dignitaries.
Stevens – Johnson Syndrome SJS is a serious auto-immune disorder – a reaction to common medications such as antibiotics and anti –epileptic medications that leads to corneal blindness in the later stages of the disease. Worldwide, an estimated 30,000 children and adults suffer from this devastating disease. Sankara Nethralaya has been at the forefront of management of ocular sequelae of SJS, contributing significantly to research, clinical expertise, and patient care.
In 2003, Sankara Nethralaya was the first to start the very complicated and complex MOOKP or “tooth-in-the-eye” surgery for patients of SJS. The Ocular Surface Disorders clinic was established in 2005. In 2007, the clinic was dedicated to Dr. G. Sitalakshmi and renamed as the Dr. G. Sitalakshmi Memorial Clinic for Ocular Surface Disorders. In the past 2 decades, Sankara Nethralaya has been pioneering management strategies contributing to global paradigm shifts in the management of SJS, and the only ophthalmic centre in the world to offer all management options under one roof.
Dr. Geetha Iyer paid homage to the gurus Dr. S. S. Badrinath, Late Srimati Dr. G. Sitalakshmi, and Late Prof Giancarlo Falcinelli, acknowledging their support and encouragement that goes towards making Ocular Surface Disorders clinic one of the best in the country.
Dr. Bhaskar Srinivasan, Dr. Geetha Iyer, and Dr. Shweta S Agarwal form the core team of the SeNSCE SJS facility with a distinguished board of members to support their services. Dr. Prema Padmanabhan, Dr. Rama Rajagopal, and Dr. Girish S. Rao, President are the mentors.
Dr. Geetha Iyer welcomed all members who attended the presentation virtually and read out their messages. Calling Sankara Nethralaya’s ophthalmologists and scientists the vanguard Prof. James Chodosh said, “It is indeed a high honor to be asked to join the Board of the SN – Sanmar Centre of Excellence for Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SeNSCE SJS)… this important new center is certain to dramatically speed progress towards elimination of blindness from this devastating affliction.”
Prof Scheffer C. G. Tseng congratulated the SeNSCE facility in receiving a generous grant towards targeting SJS. He said it was a true unmet clinical need and last ocular surface frontier. Prof. Christopher Liu also congratulated the facility on behalf of the British Ophthalmology and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Dr. Koushik Bhojani sent his blessings and lauded the Sankara Nethralaya team for pursuing a venture few would support.
Dr. Muralidhar lauded Dr. Geetha Iyer for bringing together dermatologists and for her dedication to the project. Dr. Dhanapalani said it was a privilege to be involved in the project and that he looked forward to work with the team. He appreciated the efforts of Sankara Nethralaya in putting together the team.
Dr. Girish S. Rao, Dr. T. S. Surendran, Dr. Pramod Bhende, Dr. Rama Rajagopal, Dr. Bhaskar, Dr. Shweta S Agarwal, gifted Mr. Vijayshankar a token of gratitude on stage. Dr. Pramod Bhende presented Dr. Muralidhar with a token of appreciation.
Mr. Vijayshankar recalled his family’s long association with Sankara Nethralaya and appreciated all the ophthalmologists involved with the initiative. He congratulated the team for bringing together the successful initiative.