The Elite School of Optometry (ESO) has over the years carved a niche for itself as a pioneer and leader in the field of children’s eye screening, while childhood is the best stage for early detection and timely treatment of ophthalmic issues, such screening comes with its own challenges as children may not be as communicative on their symptoms as adults and may often be unaware of the same given their playfulness. The ESO can take pride in developing specific protocols that enhance the quality of children eye screening in terms of better eliciting of symptoms, expertise in conducting eye screening of children suffering from speech/hearing impairment and thoughtful measures like providing break proof glasses for a playful segment who are always on the run, providing glasses with attractive colors and motifs that attract children, thereby increasing usage of spectacles in a reluctant group. The ESO was chosen by ‘ORBIS International’, the worldwide eye care and relief body as its partner in service in conducting free eye screening camps for school children of government schools in rural Tamil Nadu and holds its pride of place in the ‘Limca Book of Records’ for screening the highest number of children in a single day.
Now a high level study and findings on the ocular health of this segment by Ms Rizwana Jameel Husaindeen, Faculty member, Elite School of Optometry (ESO) has been awarded with a PhD for its ground breaking findings in the area of ‘binocular vision care’. The study brings out the disturbingly high prevalence of non-strabismic binocular vision anomalies among school children in rural and urban Tamil Nadu. The findings of the study have drawn a high level of interest owing to their broad spectrum coverage ranging from the difference in the current prevalence and existing statistics of such visual morbidity, break up of specific issues, impact of the ailment on the academic performance of the child, better testing methodologies, effective steps to combat such morbidity, better models of study and analysis. The study titled ‘Binocular Vision Anomalies and Normative Data (BAND) of Binocular Vision Parameters among School Children between 7 and 17 Years of Age In Rural and Urban Tamil Nadu’ was conducted under the guidance of Dr Krishna Kumar R Principal, Elite School of Optometry (Supervisor) and Co-supervisors Dr. Ronnie Jacob George, Director Research, Vision Research Foundation, Senior Consultant, Glaucoma Services, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr. Meenakshi S, Director Academics, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Ophthalmology Department, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr Suman Kapur, Senior Professor and Dean, Universitywide, Head – Department of Biological Sciences, Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Hyderabad Campus and presented on 19th June 2017 at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Hyderabad Campus. The external examiner of the thesis was Prof B R Shamanna, Professor, School of Medical Sciences, University of Hyderabad.
Sankara Nethralaya family congratulates Dr.Rizwana on her being awarded a Doctorate by a renowned academic body and expresses its deep appreciation for her commendable research on a subject not studied in such detail in the past and its critical findings which promise to open new vistas in understanding and treating visual morbidities in this category among a sensitive and vulnerable age group. A significant step indeed in the institution’s march towards total eradication of blindness!
The Doctorate to Ms Rizwana assumes special significance on another note too! it gives the Elite School of Optometry the pride of being the only optometry institution in the nation with the distinction of having 7 of its faculty members honoured with Doctorates. The entire Sankara Nethralaya family expresses its high appreciation of this excellent exhibition of knowledge and subject matter expertise by members of the ESO and salutes the rare achievement of its academic arm.