Over the past few years, Aravind has seen tremendous growth especially on the infrastructure front to accommodate increasing demand for its services. Several new centres were opened offering primary, secondary and tertiary eye care. The latest in this series is Aravind-Kovilpatti inaugurated in the last week of September.

Sight lost due to opaque cornea can be restored through cornea transplantation. Yet, millions in our country remain corneal blind mainly due to the non-availability of cornea for transplant. Every year, National Eye Donation Fortnight is being observed to sensitise public about this noble cause. Aravind too organised elaborate programmes to observe fortnight in the most meaningful way.

Providing high quality service free or at a subsidised rate is the cornerstone of Aravind’ s eye care delivery. With a generous grant from Standard Chartered Bank, Cornea Services at Aravind-Madurai was able to treat over 3,000 poor patients with corneal ulcers. A function was arranged to mark this occasion which was attended by eminent people from different walks of life and community leaders.
News about these and many more feature in this issue.

Wishing all our readers a very Happy Diwali! May the festival of lights illumine your lives and bring in joy and prosperity!


Orbis International Medal for the Best Free Paper Presentation at ESCRS Conference

Paris, France  September 14-18

Dr. Ashok Vardhan, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirupati won the “Orbis International Medal for the Best Free Paper Presentation” at 37th Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) in Paris, France.

Award for Best Eye Bank in South Zone

Bangalore  September 28

Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank, Madurai received the award at the 11th National Conference on Cornea and Eye Banking – Annual Convention of Eye Bank Association of India 2019 held in Bangalore.

Best of Best Free Paper Award for Dr. Ramya Seetam Raju

Kakinada  September 27-29

Dr. Ramya Seetam Raju, Medical Consultant, Cornea & Refractive Services, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai won the Best of Best Free Paper Award from amongst 75 competitive papers at the Annual Conference of Andhra Pradesh Ophthalmic Society  for the paper titled “Does contemporary antimicrobial substitution in corneal storage media reduce donor rim contamination?”

Dr. Haripriya Aravind Delivers the Prof. Anila Khuteta Memorial Oration

Jaipur   September 20-22

Dr. Haripriya Aravind, Chief, Cataract and IOL Services delivered the oration on Intracameral antibiotics for endophthalmitis prophylaxis at the Rajasthan Ophthalmological Conference.

Dr. TNC Vedantham Memorial Oration

Chennai   September 08

Dr. Kim, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai delivered the Dr. TNC Vedantham Memorial Oration on Diabetic Retinopathy and Artificial Intelligence  at RADNET 2019 organised by Radhatri Netralaya at Chennai.


Motivational and Awareness Session to staff

Aurolab  September 23 & 24

Mrs. Mallika, a renowned motivational speaker gave an inspiring lecture to the production trainees at Aurolab.

Mrs. Hemalatha – Child Development Project Officer handled the session and mentioned the healthy food items and their nutrition level. Staff felt the awareness session very useful to them.

Conferences attended

Oculoplastics Association of India Conference (OPAI – 2019)

Guwahati  September 06-08

Dr. Usha Kim

  • Performed 3D live surgery  using frontalis sling
  • Eyelids: Tips and tricks in different types of ptosis surgeries
  • Ptosis and eyelids frontalis sling surgery – My techniques
  • Judge – Dr. Raman Mittal Free Papers
  • Panelist – Medicolegal aspects in Oculoplasty “Why and how medical providers in Oculoplastics are sued, saved or convicted” Panel discussion

ESCRS Conference

France  September 14-18

Dr. R. Meenakshi

  • Paediatric Keratoconus – A study on Epidemiology  and Treatment Outcome: Paper Presentation
  • Talk on difficult situations in Paediatric Cataract Surgeries: Video Symposium
  • Cionni Capsular Tension Ring & in the bag placement of IOL in cases of Ectopia Lentis – a case series: Poster Presentation

Dr. Ashok Vardhan

  • High cataract surgical rate and universal eye

Dr. Sathya Ravilla

  • Intra-trochlear steroid injections in Acquired Brown’s Syndrome- A case series

Rajasthan Ophthalmological Conference (ROSCON)

Jaipur  September 20-22

Dr. Haripriya Aravind

  • Delivered the Prof. Anila Khuteta Memorial Oration
  • Management of decentered IOLs

Glaucoknow 2019 – Annual Conference of Glaucoma Society of India

Lucknow  September 20-22

Dr. Ramakrishnan

  • Chairperson for the session – Basics of glaucoma diagnosis
  • Mentor for the session – Managing Complications of trabeculectomy confidentially
  • Does evidence justify selective laser trabeculoplasty in Indian eyes
  • Roads travelled by glaucoma experts

Dr. Mohideen Abdul Kader

  • Managing late post-operative complications
  • Trabeculectomy after SICS

Annual Conference of Asia Pacific Tele Ophthalmology Society 2019

Chennai  September 21

Dr. R. Kim

  • AI in clinical workflow

Mr. R.D Thulasiraj

  • “AI – Solving today’s problems and opening new frontiers” : Round table discussion
  • Leveraging AI for universal eye health

Mr. Ganesh Babu

  • Technology driven primary eye care 

Mr. Sanil Joseph

  • Validation of retinal image grading results by a trained non-ophthalmologist grader for detecting diabetic retinopathy in southern India

AIOC ARC Post Graduate Refresher Course 2019

Coimbatore   September 28

Dr. Naresh Babu

  • Retinal Detachment

Dr. Karthik Kumar

  • Age-related macular degeneration

11th National Conference on Cornea and Eye Banking Annual Convention of EBAI 2019

Bangalore  September 28

Dr. M. Srinivasan

  • Indian Eye Banks: Present and Future

Mr. Saravanan

  • Successful donor corneal collection model in Aravind Eye Banks, India
  • Submitted the innovative concept on “Professional Eye Banking Apps for India – Future”

Ophthafusion 2019

Coimbatore  August 24

Dr. Usha Kim

  • Chaired the session, The “O” factor in Pediatric Ophthalmology
  • The “O” factor in Pediatric Ophthalmology –  Ocular tumors in childhood


Inauguration of first Vision Centre at Salem

Aravind - Salem  October 04

Aravind-Salem’s first Vision Centre was opened at Ramakrishna Mission Charitable Dispensary on October 04, 2019.  The centre was inaugurated by Mr. Mohan, Engineer, Civil – PWD, Salem in the presence of Dr. B. Manohar Babu, Swami. Yatatmanandar, Swami. Chitgadhanandha and the Swamijis of ashrama / dispensary.  Swamiji explained the association between Aravind and RK Mission over the past eight years.  Dr. B. Manohar Babu gave a talk on eye care needs / role of vision centre in addressing the unmet eye care need.

Inauguration of Vadalur Vision Centre

Aravind - Pondicherry  October 02

Aravind’s 76th Vision Centre was inaugurated at Vadalur by Dr. R. Selvaraj, Correspondent, OPR Educational in the presence of Dr. R. Venkatesh, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry.  Members of Lions, Rotary and Chamber of Commerce, and prominent community leaders attended the inauguration.

On the first day, Vadalur Vision Centre screened 102 outpatients.  A total of 27 glasses were prescribed and 17 patients ordered the same.  A total of 12 cataract patients and 30 patients with specialty problems were referred to the base hospital.

APTOS 2019

Chennai  September 21-22

APTOS 2019, the 4th annual symposium of Asia Pacific Teleophthalmology Association was organised by Aravind Eye care System at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai. The theme of the 4th APTOS Symposium was the Evolution of AI in Ophthalmology and its impact in Teleophthalmology and Innovative Service Delivery.  Another highlight of APTOS 2019 was the Hackathon and the Big Data DR Challenge for different algorithms in ocular diagnostics. The symposium was very well-received with a total of 316 participants which included medical specialists, ophthalmologists, engineers, students of  medicine and engineering from colleges all around the world.  Experts from the field of AI, telemedicine,  information technology and ophthalmology from Australia, United States, Singapore, United Kingdom, Thailand, Switzerland, Chile, China and India delivered interesting lectures.

Cornea Connect 2019

Aravind - Chennai  September 07 - 08

The CME discussed a lot of interesting and recent advancements in the field of cornea; to name a few, corneal necrotization, Bowman’s layer transplant etc. There were didactic lectures by eminent faculty from across the nation and overseas as well. The CME was well received by 200 odd delegates.

Dr. John P Whitcher, Professor Emeritus, Francis I. Proctor Foundation, UCSF was the Guest of Honour and gave the Key note address. Apart from Aravind faculty, Dr. Thomas M Lietman and Dr. Gerami  Sietzman from Francis I. Proctor foundation, UCSF; Dr. Roberto Pineda from MEEI, Harvard Medical School; Dr. Christina Rapp Prescott from Wilmer Eye Institute, John’s Hopkins School of Medicine; Dr. Samar Kumar Basak, Disha Eye Hospital, Calcutta; Dr.Namrata Sharma and  Dr.Vanathi Murugesan from Dr. RP Centre, AIIMS; Dr. J.K. Reddy and Dr. Siddarthan from Sankara Eye Hospital, Coimbatore; Dr. Rohit Shetty, Narayana Nethralaya, Bangalore; Dr. Mathew Kurian, Chaitanya Eye Hospital, Kottayam; Dr.Sujatha Mohan, Rajan Eye Care, Chennai and Dr. Bhaskar Srinivasan, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai shared their valuable inputs.

Valedictory function of providing comprehensive free eye care to corneal ulcer patients

Aravind - Madurai  September 05

Supported by Standard Chartered Bank, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai has been providing free treatment for poor patients with corneal ulcer. The fund even supported the transport costs not just for the patients but for the accompanying persons as well. Over 3,000 patients were thus benefitted over the past three years. A valedictory function was arranged to commemorate this achievement for which Shri. Shivraj V. Patil, former Judge of the Supreme Court, was the chief guest. Shri. S. Venkatesan, Member of Parliament, Madurai was the guest of honour. A few patients were also invited to attend the function.

Observing 34th National Eye Donation Fortnight

Aravind  August 25 –September 8

34th Eye Donation Fortnight was observed at Aravind with a wide variety of programmes that focused mainly on awareness creation. Programmes conducted included awareness rally, exhibition, seminars, talks in educational institutions and offices, distribution of pamphlets and felicitation events for donor families.  Aravind doctors gave talks about eye donation and eye banking on popular FM channels. Social media was effectively used to spread the message of promoting eye donation.  Felicitation programmes were organized to motivate the various clubs, donor families and NGOs who have been instrumental in supporting the cause of eye donation.

AIOC ARC Post Graduate Refresher Course 2019

Aravind – Coimbatore  September 27-29

Aravind Eye Hospital, Coimbatore organized AIOS ARC Post Graduate Refresher Programme 2019 – South Zone with the support of an educational grant from Sun Pharma.  71 faculty members conducted the three-day scientific sessions which included 42 lectures, 8 case discussions, 8 quiz programmes and 10 dry lab sessions. A total of 220 Post Graduates from 48 Institutions across Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry participated.

43rd Annual Day Celebration

Aravind-Madurai   September 14

Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai celebrated its 43rd Annual Day with exciting programmes and entertainment activities. The senior management team was present during the occasion. Dr. R. Kim, Chief Medical Officer gave an update on the activities of the last year. Service awards were distributed to employees who completed 5, 10, 15, 20 & 25 years of service.


Auroutsav 2019

Aravind - Madurai & Tirupati   23 August 2019 - 04 September 2019

Auroutsav, the biennial literary, sports and arts competitions was held at Aravind-Madurai with over 30 events in total. Staff members who were divided into five teams, named after various tribes of south India – Irula, Kurumba, Kota, Paniya and Toda – showcased the unique features of their tribe through excellent performances. Team Paniya emerged as the winner followed by Kota. Winners were awarded prizes.

Madurai Symposium – Dhan foundation

Madurai  September 18-22

On request from Dhan Foundation, Madurai; Aravind Eye Care System organised an event in Madurai Symposium under the theme, Role of women in eye care.  The programme included seminars, quiz, skit, update on Aravind and its impact in the community and on women development, MLOP model and models showing common eye problems. A model of the vision centre was put up. The programme was entirely handled by the empowered women (MLOP) team of Aravind and it was well received by the public. People visited the stalls and had their eyes checked in the model vision centre setup. On the whole, the team examined 359 patients and advised glasses for 60 patients. 43 reading glasses were issued on the spot. Apart from this, the team identified and referred 16 cataract patients, 5 glaucoma patients, 1 DR patient and 32 other specialty patients to the concerned vision centres adjacent to their residence.

Optimeet – 2019

Aravind-Coimbatore   September 8

The 6th Optimeet for the staff of Opticals department was held at Aravind-Coimbatore.  Twelve papers and one video were presented. In addition, each hospital teams presented an update on their performance which was followed by discussion.

Awards for Excellence in Book Production 2019

Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers received First Prize for Excellence in Book Production from Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP India) for the book Peyman’s Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology. Aravind is proud of the fact that Dr. V. Venkatesh Prajna, Director-Academics, AECS is the Chief Editor of the second edition book.

Aadhar Card Correction Camp

Aravind-Salem   September 26-27

A camp was conducted to facilitate making necessary corrections in the Aadhar card issued by the government. A team from Post Office came and carried out the necessary corrections in the cards of almost 90 MLOPs .


Publications – September 2019

  1. Sharma A, Kuppermann BD, Bandello F, Lanzetta P, Zur D, Park SW, Yu HG, Saravanan VR, Zacharias LC, Barreira AK, Iglicki M, Miassi F, Veritti D, Tsao S, Makam D, Jain N, Loewenstein A. Intraocular pressure (IOP) after intravitreal dexamethasone implant (Ozurdex) amongst different geographic populations-GEODEX-IOP study. Eye (Lond). 2019 Sep 30. [Epub]  Article View
  2. George V Puthuran, Palmberg PF, Hiruni KW, Srilekha P, Krishnadas S, Robin AL. Intermediate-term outcomes of Aurolab aqueous drainage implant in refractory paediatric glaucoma. Br J Ophthalmol. 2019;0:1–5. [Epub] Article View
  3. Burton MJ, Faal HB, Ramke J, Thulasiraj RD, Holland P, Wang N, West SK, Bourne RRA, Congdon NG, Foster A. Announcing The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health. Lancet Glob Health 2019 Oct 9. [Epub] Article View
  4. Sandra C Ganesh, Jayadev NA, Oguego N M, Kalpana Narendran, Shilpa G Rao. Nasal loop myopexy as a primary procedure to correct exotropia hypotropia complex in high myopia. 2019 Oct 15:1-7.  Article View
  5. Prajna NV, Naveen R, Lalitha P, Austin A, Ray KJ, Keenan JD, Porco TC, Lietman TM, Rose-Nussbaumer J. Cross-Linking-Assisted Infection Reduction: a randomized clinical trial evaluating the effect of adjuvant cross-linking on outcomes in fungal keratitis. Ophthalmology. 2019 Sep 4. [Epub]  Article View
  6. Yogapriya S, Muthukkaruppan V, Krishnadas S, Gowri Priya C. Identification, quantification and age related changes of human trabecular meshwork stem cells. Eye Vis. 2019 Dec;6:31.  Article View
  7. Nidhee Jain F, George J Manayath, Narendran V, Saravanan V R, Karan K, Ramya A. A rare case of focal choroidal excavation associated choroidal neovascularization in angioid streaks. Oman J Ophthalmol. 2019 Sep-Dec;12:200-202.  Article View

Special Events

Inauguration of Aravind Eye Hospital at Kovilpatti

Aravind - Kovilpatti  September 29

Aravind’s 14th hospital and the seventh secondary centre inaugurated at Kovilpatti by Mr. T. Lakshmi Narayanan, Retired IAS Officer.   Dr. T.R. Dinakaran, Managing Director, Sri Ramalinga Mills, Aruppukottai; Tmt. Hamsapriya Srinivasan, Chennai; Mr. Everest Ramachandran, Kovilpatti; Prof. Dr. R. Perumalsamy, Pro-Chancellor, Noorul Islam University, Kanyakumari offered felicitations.

Senior leadership team, managers and staff members were present during this inauguration. The 17,300 sq.ft  facility has the capacity to handle nearly 4000 outpatients and perform about 6,000 eye surgeries a year. Like any other Aravind centre, the hospital will have 50% of the services as paying and 50 % as either free or at deeply subsidised rate. Mementos were presented to the guest by Dr. P. Namperumalsamy, Chairman-Emeritus, Aravind Eye Care System and to the construction agencies by Mr. G. Srinivasan, Director-Finance, Aravind Eye Care System.  Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Advisor, Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirunelveli delivered vote of thanks.


Patient Monthly Statistics

September – 2019

Paying (New & Review) 55,526 27,242 7,975 31,492 25,452 4,192 6,091 10,729 4,552 3,650 3,307 15,929 7,308 2,03,445
Free:Direct walk-in (New & Review) 15,775 7,444 2,152 10,588 9,707 1,243 2,020 960 1,885 4,361 1,870 58,005
Comprehensive Eye Camps 9,310 4,706 2,641 6,011 6,489 2,355 378 559 7,790 837 41,076
Diabetic Retinopathy camps 1,005 352 268 698 342 205 2,870
Glaucoma Camps
Refraction Camps 1,853 821 310 268 818 50 104 353 4,577
Mobile Refraction Unit 70 1,489 1,559
School Screening camps 384 988 235 1,838 220 256 64 430 4,415
Paediatric Camps 128 220 348
RoP 207 161 112 479 14 37 1,010
Vision Centres 22,114 11,797 6,232 4,318 8,417 1,186 1,401 55,465
Community Centres / City Centres 8,199 2,451 1,771 2,604 15,025
Total OP Examinations 1,14,373 55,962 21,531 55,706 55,901 6,891 6,091 15,464 5,890 7,912 3,307 28,752 10,015 3,87,795
Total Number of Camps 46 31 10 32 31 11 3 2 10 5 181
Service Proportion of Cataract Surgeries
Paying 3,139 1,394 445 1,557 1,492 255 312 607 220 254 125 803 335 10,938
Free (Direct) 2,322 837 259 1,322 457 190 207 267 164 389 387 309 7,110
Camp 2,403 819 305 1,625 1,465 29 357 52 49 667 172 7,943
Total Cataract Surgeries 7,864 3,050 1,009 4,504 3,414 474 519 1,231 436 692 125 1,857 816 25,991
Note: NA – Not Applicable


Enrolments for September 2019

September – 2019

Course title
Training Centre
No. of enrolments
Fellowship in Anterior Segment / Intraocular Lens Surgery
Madurai 3
Tirunelveli 1
Tirupati 1
Fellowship in Cornea
Pondicherry 1
Madurai 2
Fellowship in General Ophthalmology
Madurai 1
Coimbatore 1
Fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology
Madurai 2
Coimbatore 1
Fellowship in Orbit & Oculoplasty
Madurai 1
Fellowship in Retina & Vitreous
Chennai 2
Clinical Observership Program In Diagnosis and Management Of Glaucoma
Coimbatore 1
Management of Retinopathy of Prematurity and Paediatric Retinal Disorders
Coimbatore 1
Madurai 1
Coimbatore 2
Small incision cataract surgery
Madurai 1
Coimbatore 1
Pondicherry 1
Lasers in Diabetic Retinopathy
Madurai 2
Coimbatore 2
Pondicherry 1
Fundus Fluorescein Angiography & Ultrasonography
Madurai 1
Optical Dispensing
Madurai 4
Project Management for Eye Care