With a vision for an India free of avoidable blindness, where every citizen enjoys the gift of sight and have enhanced quality of life, VISION 2020: The Right to Sight – INDIA was launched in the year 2004 in association with the government of India, International NGOs and centres of excellence in eye care. From a humble beginning with a few founding members, VISION 2020 INDIA today has a strong pan India presence. Its 15th annual conference was hosted by Aravind Eye Hospital, Chennai which turned out to be an excellent platform to discuss, deliberate strategies for integrating eye health into universal health.

At the recently held annual conference of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight – India, Aravind team came through flying colours. The conference saw an overwhelming participation from Aravind’s allied ophthalmic personnel and many of them bagged several awards too.

Aravind-Coimbatore has been doing a commendable work towards tackling blindness due to Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). Recently, Indian Retinopathy of Prematurity Society honoured Dr. V.Narendran for his contributions to the field of ROP. News about these and many more feature in this issue.


Indian Retinopathy of Prematurity Society Award

Chandigarh  June 21-23

Dr. V. Narendran, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind-Coimbatore was awarded the Prof. Michael Trese Oration Award by the Indian Retinopathy of Prematurity Society at its 4th annual conference.

Awards at the Annual Conference of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight – India

Aravind-Chennai  June 8-9

Chandrasekhar, Medical Consultant, Aravind-Coimbatore, Best Free paper

  • Effectiveness of infection control nurse in implementing infection control practices and reducing hospital acquired infection

Rajakumari, Aravind- Coimbatore, Runner up – Free Paper Presentation

  • Improving Cataract surgery acceptance rate by utilizing multiple tools during cataract counselling

Ms. Ramyadevi, Aravind- Coimbatore, Best Free Paper

  • Outcomes of Telescreening for ROP in Rural South India – The Aravind Coimbatore Experience

Ms. S.N. Kamatchi, Dept. of Clinical Research, Aravind-Madurai, Runner up, Free paper Presentation

  • Analysis of high retention of clinical research participants in clinical trials conducted in South Indian population

 Dr. Hema,Medical Consultant, Aravind- Theni, Runner up, Free Paper

  • Telemedicine approach for Retinopathy of Prematurity screening in rural areas: Opportunities and challenges

B.Vengadesh, Vision Rehabilitation Services, Aravind- Madurai, Best Free Paper

  • Non Visual Desktop Access’ Computer training for Visually Impaired Person

I.Seran, Manager, Aravind- Salem, Runner up, Free Paper Presentation

  • To analyse the incidence of wrong Refraction and wrong glass prescriptions across all Aravind Eye Hospitals by the incidents reported in the year 2018

Ms. Lakshmi, Refraction Department, Aravind-Madurai, Best Poster

  • Improving visual outcomes with minisceral lens in keratoconus

Ms. Rajathi, Gandhigram Vision Centre, Aravind-Madurai, First Prize – Optometry Quiz

Ms. Moorthi Gowsalya, Technician, Aravind-Madurai, Second Prize, Optometry Quiz

Ms. Amirtha Varshini, Optometrist,Aravind-Madurai, Third Prize – Optometry Quiz


Phaco Decoded CME

Coimbatore  June 8-9

Aurolab participated in the CME conducted by Eye Foundation at Coimbatore. Live surgery was performed using Hummingbird Phaco machine with Aurovue EV Toric IOL.

Guest Lecture on Heart Diseases and their Prevention

Aurolab  June 21

Dr. Govinda Rajan, Cardiologist, Madurai handled the session and explained about the symptoms and causes for various heart diseases.

Observing International Yoga Day

Aurolab  June 21

Aurolab arranged a special guest lecture about Yoga and its benefits. Mrs. Vijaya who has 30 years of experience in Manavalakalai Yoga gave the lecture. Yoga teachers – Mrs. Santhi and Mrs. Angayarkanni gave demo of several yogasanas and meditation.

Aurolab Participates in the 15th Annual Conference of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight – India

Aravind-Chennai  June 8-9

Aurolab put up a stall on vision centre stall in collaboration with LAICO. The stall carried information related to setting up of and successfully running a vision centre , equipment supplies and service, Vision Center Management Software, and training of staff.

Conferences attended

Annual Conference of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight – India

Aravind-Chennai  June 8-9

B. Vengadesh

  • Non Visual Desktop Access’ Computer training for Visually Impaired Person

Anusiya  A

  • Impact of an online inventory management platform (OIMP) on optical dispensing in Vision Centers (VC)

Dr. Priyanka Parihar

  • Prospective study to establish proportion and barriers leading to bilateral blindness due to cataract in an area of high cataract surgical rate


  • Incidence and cause of significant refractive power following cataract surgery


  • A rare case series of High Myopia in full term infants

M.K. Amirtha Varshini

  • Study of Outcome in Refractive Accommodative esotropia

Dr. V P Ravichandran

  • Low Cost Airway- A carbon foot print reduction in operation room

N. Kamatchi

  • Analysis of high retention of clinical research participants in clinical trials conducted in South Indian population


  • Patient feedback system for remote primary eye care centres

Arumuga Selvi

  • Analysis of Surgical outcome in Phacoemulsification and Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSCIS)

R Moorthygowsalya Devi

  • Causes of suboptimal visual acuity after Toric IOL implantation – a retrospective analysis


  • Role of systemic comorbidities on the uptake of cataract surgery among patients screened in outreach camps in the state of Tamil Nadu


  • Making Incision on steep axis to reduce post operative astigmatism by highlighting steep axis in the A-scan sheet

Kalaivani Kunal

  • To evaluate effectiveness of mini scleral contact lens in Keratoconus patient


  • Accommodative esotropia- A brief insight

Kalaivendan K

  • Enhancing the quality of case finding in outreach with better instrumentation and deploying Electronic Medical Record (EMR) to ensure continuity of care.


  • Telemedicine approach for Retinopathy of Prematurity Screening in rural areas : Oppurtunities and Challenges.


  • To analyse the incidence of wrong refraction and wrong glass prescriptions across all Aravind Eye Hospitals by the incidents reported in the year 2018

Ms. Revathy K

  • Acceptance of cataract surgery from comprehensive eye camps at a new tertiary eye hospital

Hemalatha G

  • High Quality and timely eye care delivery in high volume work place camp


  • Outcomes of Telescreening for ROP in Rural South India – The Aravind Coimbatore Experience


  • Effectiveness of Infection control nurse in implementing infection control practices and reducing hospital acquired infection


  • Impact of Bench marking in field of ophthalmology


  • Improving Cataract surgery acceptance rate by utilizing multiple tools during cataract counselling

Murugesan M

  • Effective dispensing of maximum number of low cost spectacle in a mega outreach camp

R. Gautham Kumar

  • To study the effectiveness of mandatory committees in implementing quality standards and improving hospital functioning – as part of advocacy

Sangeetha S

  • Study on Effectiveness of Training Provided for Administrative staff in Eye Care Hospital

B. Vignesh

  • Gender inequalities study in comprehensive outreach eye camp in South India


  • Ideas to manage waiting time


Live Surginar

Aravind-Chennai  May 24

Dr. Haripriya Aravind performed live surginar titled “Learn techniques to tackle extreme grades of cataract” organised by All India Ophthalmic Society.  This video has been getting good response with the number of views crossing over 8,000.

Lions Club Award for Senior Nurses

Aravind-Tirunelveli  June 6

Sr M N Chidambaram, Nursing Superintendent; Sr A Shanmuga Sundari, Tutor – OPD;  Sr A Prema, Supervisor – Counseling; Sr G V Packialakshmi, Supervisor – OPD  and Sr R S Gomathi, Counselor were awarded “Certiificate of Achievement ” for their selfless and efficient work by the Lions Club of Tirunelveli Cosmos.

Awareness session on Managing Cholesterol

Aravind-Madurai  June 13

Dr. BRJ Khannan, MD DM, Cardiologist, Vadamalayan Hospital, Madurai handled the session.   The session was highly informative and interactive.

Scientific Programme byTirunelveli Ophthalmologists Association

Tirunelveli  June 15

Dr. A. Karthik Kumar, Medical Consultant,Retina and Vitreous Services, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai handled a session titled “OCT Interpretation in day to day practice”.  Dr. V. Maneksha, Chief, Department of Orbit & Oculoplasty at Aravind- Tirunelveli handled a session titled “Orbital Infections”.

Eye Donation Awareness Programme

Aravind-Madurai  June 18

Mr. D. Saravanan, Manager – Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai handled an awareness session on hospital cornea retrieval programme, its importance and the role of health care professionals in eye donation to staff of Primary Health Centre, Kallanthiri.

Session on Glass Painting

Aravind-Tirunelveli  June 12

Ms Shymala, a renowned art and craft teacher from Chennai, taught glass painting for the staff housekeeping department. The participants  were provided with the an opportunity to try the art themselves at the end of the session.

Certificate Course in Evidence Based Management of Diabetic Retinopathy (CCDR) Programme

Aravind-Tirunelveli  June 19

As part of the Diabetic Retinopathy project supported by Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Aravind- Tiruneveli facilitated this training programme for the Medical Officers in government PHCs. The programme is conducted once a month in four modules. The fourth module was inaugurated at Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirunelveli in February 2019.  12 Medical Officers from Department of Public Health and PHCs and three private practitioners were trained.

 Certificate distribution for the recently concluded course was held on June 19. Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Advisor, Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirunelveli welcomed the participants and gave a brief note on the CCDR Programme. Dr. Syed Mohideen, Retina Consultant, Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirunelveli who is also the regional faculty for the programme gave a brief note on the significance of the programme. Dr. Tanu Soni, Programme Coordinator, PHFI, Gurgaon presented an overview of the programme conducted across the country. The participants were awarded with certificates, jointly issued by PHFI, Centre for Chronic Diseases Control (CCDC), Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Education Academy (DMDEA) and Aravind Eye Care System and respective Regional Faculty.  Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Dr. R. Meenakshi, Regional Faculty- Dr.Syed Mohideen, Dr.Manakavala Perumal (Diabetologists) and P. Hariesh Kumar, Project Manager-DR were felicitated by PHFI with awards of appreciation.

CME on Hospital Infection Control and Operation Theatre Sterilisation Techniques

Aravind – Coimbatore  June 30

The CME focused on updating knowledge on the most important aspects of infection control and operation theatre sterilization in eye hospitals. A total of 224 delegates from 50 hospitals across 6 states participated. Faculty who are experts in the field of hospital infection control handled the sessions. Each session was followed by a panel discussion. Various Hospital infection control measures and sterilisation activities were demonstrated through posters and videos.

CME on Counselling

LAICO   June 22

The CME sponsored by Alcon aimed to improve counsellors’  clinical knowledge and strengthen their communication skills. Senior faculty from GE Health Care handled the sessions.  A total of 32 mid level ophthalmic personnel from Aravind-Madurai, Dindigul, Tuticorin and Tirunelveli participated.

Dissemination Summit for Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) in India

Hyderabad  June 12-14

Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) – Hyderabad organised the event with the objective to evolve recommendations that required to integrate DR services in the government health system. Dignitaries from Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust -UK, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, IIPH, Government of India, INGOs, partnering hospitals and other experts took part.

Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Advisor, Aravind-Tirunelveli, Dr. Karthik Srinivasan, Medical Consultant, Retina Services, Aravind-Chennai, Dr. Chandra Kumar, Project Director, State Blindness Control Society (SBCS), Tamil Nadu;  Mr. V. Vijaya Kumar, Senior Faculty-LAICO and Mr. Hariesh Kumar, Project Manager attended the summit. Dr. Ramakrishnan presented an update on the DR management activities in Tamil Nadu. Dr. Chandra Kumar spoke on the scaling of DR Project in 3 more districts (Salem, Cuddalore and Vellore) in Tamil Nadu. Dr. Ramakrishnan was honoured with an award for Aravind’s outstanding contribution towards tackling DR in India.

CME on Anterior Vitrectomy

Aravind-Madurai  June 30

A one day CME was conducted for operation theatre nurses to brief them on anterior vitrectomy. Session was handled by Dr.Gomathi Ramya along with faculty from Alcon handled the session. A total of  37 nurses participated.

Diagnostics Skill Transfer Course

Aravind-Pondicherry  June 9

The course has sessions covering all sub-specialities in ophthalmology. Participants divided into four groups moved from station to station.  A total of 10 investigations (HFA, FFA, Retina OCT, OCT in glaucoma, ERG, VEP, ORB Scan, Pentacam, Hess Charting, Diplopia charting and B-scan) were covered.  Sessions included explanation of the principle, mechanism, indications, interpretation, case based discussions, machine-based hands on demo and exam FAQ. More than 50 persons participated.

Aravind-Chennai Hosts the Annual Conference of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight – India

Aravind-Chennai  June 8-9

Thiru Banwarlal Purohit, the Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu inaugurated the conference and graced the occasion with his presence. More than 600 delegates from 18 states and 2 union territories across 115 organisations from India attended the conference. Sessions were conducted in four parallel tracks – Advocacy, Outreach, Quality in cataract surgery and Optometry; a total of 122 papers and 85 posters were presented. True to the spirit of the conference, it fostered learning and networking in an enabling environment.

The aim of the conference was to

  • Increase the capacity of eye care fraternity towards meeting the goal of reducing visual impairment
  • Create networking opportunities and overall atmosphere of upgrading knowledge and technology use
  • Share experiences and good practices in the area of eye health for better planning and implementation of eye care services


Consultancy Visits

As part of SCALE capacity building project, follow up visits were made to the following hospitals:

  • Rotary Hooghly Eye hospital & Netaji Eye Hospital, West Bengal
  • Sankara Eye Hospital, Brehampur, Odisha
  • Alakh Nayan Eye Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan
  • Jharkhand Eye Bank Hospital, Ranchi
  • Vivekananda eye hospital  Gumballi, Karnataka


Publications – June 2019

  1. Kumaran M, Subramanian U, Devarajan B. Performance assessment of variant calling pipelines using human whole exome sequencing and simulated data. BMC Bioinformatics. 2019 Jun 17;20(1):342.  Article View
  2. Ganesh SC, Shilpa GR, Kalpana N. Clinical evaluation of graded Anderson’s procedure in idiopathic infantile nystagmus. Strabismus. 2019 Jun 20:1-4. [Epub]  Article View
  3. Niranjana P, Nithya Lakshmi S, Jeya Maheshwari J, Prajna NV, Lalitha Prajna, Dharmalingam K. Quantitative profiling of tear proteome reveals down regulation of zinc alpha-2 glycoprotein in Aspergillus flavus keratitis patients. Exp Eye Res. 2019 Jun 21. [Epub] Article View
  4. Sharma N, Arora T, Singhal D, Maharana PK, Garg P, Nagpal R, Murthy S, Gunnam S, Arora A, Prajna NV, Revathi R, Padmanabhan P, Kumar A, Kumar R, Tomar S, Thomas A, Gyanchand R, Arora R, Biswas B, Basak S. Procurement, storage and utilization trends of eye banks in India. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;67(7):1056-1059. Article View
  5. Prajna NV. Commentary: Procurement, storage and utilization trends of eye banks in India. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;67(7):1060. Article View
  6. Devendra Maheshwari, Swathi K, Mohideen Abdul Kadar, Ramakrishnan R, Madhavi R Pillai. Midterm outcome of mitomycin C augmented trabeculectomy in open angle glaucoma versus angle closure glaucoma. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;67(7):1080-1084. Article View
  7. Sandra CG, Sasikala AE, Kalpana N. Botulinum toxin A in the early treatment of sixth nerve palsy in type 2 diabetes. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;67(&):1133-1136. Article View
  8. Ashis Ghosh, Naveen R, Prajna NV. Traumatic corneal cyst. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;67(6):1179. Article View
  9. Amit Kumar D, Naresh Babu K, Kim R, Chitaranjan Mishra. Double ring sign in optic nerve head hypoplasia. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;67(7):1187. Article View
  10. Naresh Babu K, Vedang Shah, Piyush Kohli, Shah Pratik K. Subretinal pigment epithelium cleft: A sign of caution. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;67(7):1188. Article View
  11. Rajan RP, Amit Kumar D, Naresh Babu K, Kim R. Bilateral optic nerve aplasia with corpus callosum hypogenesis in an otherwise healthy child: Report of a rare case. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;67(7):1231-1233. Article View
  12. Balamurugan S, Priya S. Commentary: Tuberculosis in neuro ophthalmology – How different it is?. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;67(7):1212-1214. Article View
  13. Balamurugan S. Commentary: Appraisal of histopathological correlations in Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada uveitis. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul;67(7):1219-1221. Article View
  14. Durr NJ, Dave SR, Lim D, Sanil Joseph, Thulasiraj RD, Lage E. Quality of eyeglass prescriptions from a low-cost wavefront autorefractor evaluated in rural India: results of a 708-participant field study. BMJ Open Ophthalmol. 2019 Jun 14;4(1):e000225. Article View
  15. Sandra Ganesh, Shwetha H. Ramakrishna. A Rare Case of Anterior Segment Ischemia Following Wright’s Modification of the Hummelsheim Procedure for Total Lateral Rectus Muscle Palsy. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 2019;56:e53-e56. Article View
  16. Priya Sivakumar, Chandresh Nandwana, Veena K. Eyes speak before the child talks. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul 11. [Epub] Article View
  17. Madanagopalan VG, Shivananda N, Krishnan T. Surgically induced necrotizing scleritis after retinal detachment surgery masquerading as scleral abscess. GMS Ophthalmol Cases. 2019 May 29;9:Doc18. Article View


Patient Monthly Statistics

June – 2019

Paying (New & Review) 59,521 8,847 28,693 32,616 26,451 6,723 4,571 12,002 3,754 5,224 3,669 15,769 6,121 2,13,961
Free:Direct walk-in (New & Review) 19,184 2,446 7,175 11,465 10,289 NA 1,362 2,134 2,645 1,067 NA 3,726 2,186 63,679
Comprehensive Eye Camps 10,247 1,553 4,705 5,243 7,301 411 411 1,942 257 447 NA 1,917 893 35,327
Diabetic Retinopathy camps 946 236 175 545 1,256 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 3,158
Refraction Camps 502 180 1,732 1,142 692 NA NA 794 NA NA NA NA NA 5,042
Mobile Refraction Unit NA NA NA 1,416 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 1,416
School Screening camps 182 NA NA NA 435 NA NA 250 NA NA NA NA NA 1,050
Paediatric Camps NA NA NA NA 447 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 447
RoP 144 135 NA 441 53 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 789
Vision Centres 24,325 5,737 12,100 4,607 7,678 NA 1,123 NA 1,453 NA NA NA NA 57,023
Community Centres / City Centres 9,095 1,877 2,672 NA 2,563 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 16,207
Total OP Examinations 1,24,146 21,011 57,252 57,658 57,165 7,134 7,467 17,122 8,109 6,738 3,669 21,428 9,200 3,98,099
Total Number of Camps 39 12 28 24 30 NA 3 9 1 NA NA 6 NA 152
Service Proportion of Cataract Surgeries
Paying 3,576 475 1,366 1,578 1,473 308 271 683 260 212 156 788 241 11,387
Free (Direct) 3,923 352 880 1,827 1,436 154 204 303 503 192 0 312 290 10,376
Camp 3,505 201 968 2,033 1,974 0 74 468 42 46 0 300 134 9,745
Total Cataract Surgeries 11,004 1,028 3,214 5,438 4,883 462 549 1,454 805 450 156 1,400 665 31,508
Note: NA – Not Applicable


Enrolments for June 2019 at Aravind Eye Care System

June – 2019

Course title
Training Centre
No. of enrolments
Diplomate of National Board
Pondicherry 6
Coimbatore 3
Fellowship in Cornea
Coimbatore 1
Pondicherry 1
Fellowship in General Ophthalmology
Coimbatore 1
Fellowship in Retina Vitreous
Coimbatore 3
Madurai 1
Pondicherry 2
Clinical Observership Program In Diagnosis and Management Of Glaucoma
Madurai 2
Tirunelveli 2
Management of Retinopathy of Prematurity and Paediatric Retinal Disorders
Madurai 1
Coimbatore 1
Lasers in Diabetic Retinopathy
Madurai 3
Small incision cataract surgery
Madurai 1
Coimbatore 1
Training for Ocularist
Madurai 1
Community Outreach and Social Marketing of Eye Care Services
Instrument Maintenance – For Technicians