The curtains went up to a packed house of most distinguished international and national dignitaries on the 12th of July 2019, at the grand Clive Hall, The Taj Coromandel, Chennai. The venue of the ‘Pediatric Retina’ (Retina Summit-2019) the 4th Summit on the retina, presented by the Bhagwan Mahaveer Vitroretina Services, Sankara Nethralaya. The proceeding got off to an auspicious start with a melodious invocation by Dr Meenakshi Swaminathan, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Ophthalmology department and Director- academics and Dr Mihir Trivedi, Senior Vitroretina Fellow, Sankara Nethralaya, followed by the lighting of the traditional lamp by Shri V.Vaidyanathan, President Medical Research Foundation, Mrs Seetha Vaidyanathan, and senior national and international dignitaries and a quick felicitation of the artists of IndoSoul the popular live group led by Karthik Iyer entertaining the participants, by Shri V.Vaidyanathan. It was little wonder that the event was of a massive proportion since it was being held on a most predominant part of the eye, by one of the largest vitro retina departments in the country, it was also most appropriate that an institution in the forefront of Pediatric ophthalmology was conducting the summit on the theme ‘Pediatric Retina’.
Delivering the inaugural address and welcome note Dr Girish Shiva Rao, Medical Director, Sankara Nethralaya observed that the day marked the culmination of a dream, a goal set long ago and is the fruit of meticulous planning and execution, he added that hosting the event was a good learning by itself. Dr Girish Rao highlighted that the host institution had embarked on a massive study of Diabetic retinopathy much before it became a buzzword and had dwelt in depth on retinal detachment and ocular trauma in the previous meets. He recalled Dr SS.Badrinath’s role in creating a robust model of teaching and training at Sankara Nethralaya which helped in mentoring, stimulating, engaging and hailed him as a tough task master who inculcated knowledge and discipline on an army of ophthalmologists serving the world over.
The preconference of the high power meet focussed on the latest screening/diagnosis technologies and a demonstration of the latest equipment relevant to Paediatric ophthalmology. The two day conference that followed was a most enlightening session touching upon every challenge and aspect of diagnosis and treatment in paediatric ophthalmology, challenges ranging from simple Retinopathy of Prematurity to a host of Paediatric infections like retinitis, endophthalmitis in the paediatric age group, complex VEGF driven, inherited and acquired retinal vascular diseases and paediatric retinal detachment to name a few. The conference witnessed lively debates on differing approaches and perceptions to specific paediatric issues and exchange of real time experience leading to a lot of learning and exposure to latest treatment modalities involving stem cell therapy and prenatal screening.
Dr Muna Bhende, Deputy Director, Shri Bhagwan Mahavir Department of Retinal Services,, Sankara Nethralaya and Organizing Secretary ‘Pediatric Retina Summit’ expressed her most sincere thanks to her co-organizers Dr Pramod Bhende, Dr Parveen Sen and Dr V.Jaya Prakash and members of the conceptualizing, planning and implementation teams at every level, the men and women within and outside of the institution, in front and behind the screen who worked hard and long and contributed to the grand success of the event.
The two day high power meet came to a close on a warm note with the hosting of the Sankara Nethralaya Alumni Dinner, which brought old members of the Sankara Nethralay family from abroad and India into a warm get together.