A new year has ushered in bringing along with it new promises and aspirations. The entire Aravind family wishes you all a very happy and prosperous 2020. The year bygone has been one of several accomplishments; Aravind continued to expand in all levels of providing care – tertiary, secondary and primary – even crossing the state and national boundaries. For all these, Dr. V’s spirit continued to guide us, pushing each one of the staff to put in their best and collectively contributing to the cause of eliminating needless blindness. Thanks to the whole-hearted support of our friends and well-wishers in making Aravind what it is today. Thanks also to the hard work and commitment of news correspondents across the Aravind centres especially for their support in bringing out the newsletter in the first week of the month

Aravind model continues to inspire and the organisation often receives a steady stream of visitors wanting to learn from it and imbibe the best practices. Aravind was fortunate enough to have been paid a visit by the cabinet minister of the government of Uttar Pradesh. Last month also saw many of our doctors winning awards at national conferences.

News about these and many more feature in this issue.


Pune Netra Seva National Award for Aravind Eye Care System

Pune, December 29

Pune Netra Seva Prathisthan conferred the award on Aravind and Dr. P. Namperumalsamy, Chairman Emeritus received the same. Close to 20 Aravind alumni in and around Pune attended the award ceremony. Dr. Namperumalsamy interacted with the alumni and it turned out to be a memorable occasion.

Awards at Annual Conference of Cornea Society of India

Kumarakom, Kerala, December 13-15

Dr. Josephine Chrsity, Cornea and Refractive Services, Aravind-Pondicherry bagged first prize in the photo contest.

Dr. Naveen, Cornea and Refractive Services, Aravind-Madurai won first prize in Just a Minute session.

Awards at the Annual Meeting of the Indian Pediatric Glaucoma Society

Hyderabad, December 7-8

Dr Hiruni K Wijesinghe, Glaucoma Fellow, Aravind-Madurai became winner of original paper- physical poster, A comparative study of glaucoma drainage device surgery in children and adults.

Dr Srilekha Pallamparthy, Glaucoma Fellow, Aravind-Madurai became winner in the session on Clinic challenges in pediatric glaucoma for A case of unilateral congenital glaucoma associated with microcephaly and ipsilateral hemiplegia.

AUPO Resident & Fellow Research Forum Award

Dr. Siddharth Narendran, Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, currently doing Fellowship at University of Virginia, Charlottesvilla, USA received the Association of University Professor of Ophthalmology (AUPO) Resident and Fellow Research Forum Award.  This is the first time an ophthalmologist trained in India has received this award.

Best Poster Award for Dr. Mahima Bankar

Chennai, December 7-8

Dr. Mahima Bankar, Fellow, Paediatric Ophthalmology Services, Aravind-Pondicherry received the award for the poster titled Normative data of paediatric OCT in South population at the annual conference of Strabismus and Paediatric Ophthalmology Society of India.


Immense Response for Aurolab’s Autorefractometer

December 2

Aurolab’s portable Auto Refractometer (e-see) has been receiving wide response from the opthlamic community. Aurolab has supplied 130 e-see devices to the government of Andhra Pradesh. These devices are used in 13 districts of AP to initiate  mass free eye screening programmes to eradicate blindness. Aurolab has supplied 32 devices to the government of Tamil Nadu for setting up Tele V Care Centers at Primary Health Centres. This initiative will significantly revolutionise the way eye care is being delivered in rural parts of Tamil Nadu.

Round Table Meeting

Aurolab, November and December

Dr. Arulmozhi Varman, Uma Eye Clinic, Chennai and Dr. MS Raveendra, Karthick Netralaya, Bangalore shared their experiences of using Aurovue Dfine during the meeting organised  at Chennai and Bangalore on November 30 and December 8 respectively.

Conferences attended

Annual Conference of Vitreo Retina Society of India

Lucknow, December 5-8

Dr. Kim

  • Co-chair for The Buckle symposium
  • Co-chair for The top 7 lessons learnt in DME management
  • Basic steps of scleral buckling : Getting it right

Dr. Karthik Kumar

  • Surgical drainage of choroidal effusion using trochar with cannula-An effective and easy way
  • Wetlab- EYESI simulator

Dr. Renu P Rajan

  • Quantification of relative afferent pupillary defect (RAPD) by automated pupillometer and its relationship with AMD dimensions and visual acuity
  • Hyper -imaging by “OC(T)ean’s Twelve”  – focal choroidal excavation

Dr. Jayant

  • Comparision of non-mydriatic ultra wide field fundus images by OPTOS and CLARUS and its association with pupillary size and reaction

Dr. Piyush

  • Comparison of various  surgical techniques  for optic disc pit maculopathy

Dr. Aditya Maitray

  • Endogenous serum cortisol levels and anxiety assessment in patients with polypoidal choroidal vasuculopathy(PCV): A new insight into pathogenesis

Dr. Chitaranjan

  • Incidence and outcomes of endophthalmitis with prefilled intravitreal bevacizumab injections: a multicentric prospective study

Dr. Soumya Jena

  • Comparison of outcomes of PPV in Rhematogenous retinal detachment cases using 3D visualization  system versus analog microscope

Dr. Anirban

  • Subthreshold micropulse yellow laser and eplerenone drug therapy in chronic central serous chorioretinopathy patients:A comparative study

Dr. Sourav

  • Indigenous low cost heads up vitrectomy simulator

Dr. Naresh Babu

  • Getting out of jail” -Managing surgical complications / complicated situations
  • Moderator for Advanced VR surgery Part 2
  • Optic disc pit -maculopathy -management methods

Dr. Vignesh T.P

  • Hyper -imaging by “OC(T)ean’s twelve” : Multilayered PED

60th Annual Meeting of the Ophthalmological Society of Taiwan

December 13-15

Dr. Haripriya Aravind

  • Tips and tricks to apply on a patient with a hard lens or white cataract
  • Sharpen surgical skills: Managing posterior polar cataracts and subluxated lenses
  • Managing challenging cases with advanced phaco technology

IAPB South East Asia Eye Health Experts meeting

Kathmandu, Nepal, December 9-12

Mr. Thulasiraj Ravilla, Executive Director-LAICO attended the meeting and shared inputs.

Keracon – Annual Conference of Cornea Society of India

Kumarakaom, December 13-15

Dr. Josephine Christy

  • First prize in photo contest titled “Ripple Effect Warpage”
  • Talk on Donor characteristics and tissue utilization in tertiary eye bank.
  • Wed lab trainer for DMEK skill transfer course

Dr. Kunal

  • Video: Anxiery- A Silent battle
  • Poster: Rare case of scytalidium keratitis

Dr. Naveen

  • Invited speaker: Literature review in aqueous deficiency dry eye.
  • E- poster: Recycled Intralase patient interface for DMEK wet lab training
  • E-Poster: Comparison of donor characteristics of corneas collected through hospital corneal retrieval program and voluntary eye donation
  • Coordinator of the session: Dry eye – ATD
  • Photo contest: Drug deposit on endothelium
  • Photo contest: Archipelago of epithelium

Dr. Sikha Misra

  • Paper presentation: Fungal load analysis on repeat scrapping of fungal keratitis patients treated with topical natamycin vs topical natamycin + voriconazole
  • E -poster: Posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy – a tertiary centre case series report.


UP Cabinet Minister Shri. Suresh Kumar Khanna Visits Aravind

Madurai, December 5-6

The visit was to  understand the operations of AECS at all levels (Primary, Secondary & Tertiary); to have in- depth understanding of the training programmes at Aravind for Allied ophthalmic Personnel and ophthalmologists as well as to discuss the prospects of replicating the Aravind model of eye care delivery in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Honourable Minister was accompanied by a team of senior doctors and officials from Uttar Pradesh. The team visisted various Aarvind facilities including Aurolab and Gandhigram vision centre.

Equitable Healthcare Access Consortium

Aravind-Chennai, December 06-07

Aravind Eye Hospital, Chennai hosted the sixth quarterly meeting of the Equitable Healthcare Access Consortium (EHA Consortium), an organisation that was born out of the concern for declining ethics and growing inequities in access to healthcare in India. EHAC aims to nudge the healthcare ecosystem towards humane, ethical and equitable care through building a network of like-minded institutions and individuals. The meeting was attended by over 50 participants from across India, representing organisations in healthcare, livelihood, and education, space, including DHAN Foundation, Aravind Eye Care System, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), Ekam Foundation, People Tree Hospitals, Indian School of Business, Fernandez Hospital Foundation,  Smiles International Institute of Colo-Proctology ( SIICP),  Sant Singaji Institute of Science and Management (SSISM) Education Institutions, Saksham, and the Indian Institute of Management-Udaipur.

Ophthalmology Sans Frontiers

Coimbatore, December 6-8 

Aravind Eye Hospital, Coimbatore and University of Illinois, Chicago  (UIC) collaboratively organised the conference at Hotel Le Meridien, Coimbatore. Dr. V. Narendran, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind-Coimbatore was the organizing secretary. The event  was a great academic feast with six dry lab sessions, two wet lab sessions, open quiz and didactic lectures in eight sub-specialities. Faculty from University of Illinois and Aravind Eye Care System shared their inputs. A total of 320 ophthalmologists registered for the conference.

Aravind-Alcon vitrectomy training centre was inaugurated  by Dr P Namperumalsamy , Chairman Emeritus,  Aravind Eye Care System in the presence of many dignitaries. Dr P Namperumalsamy, Dr G Natchiar, Dr M Srinivasan  and Dr P Vijalakashmi shared their training experience at UIC which was very motivating. Dr Paul Chan, Chair, Dept of Ophthalmology, UIC shared his views on the ways to carry forward this collaboration.

Ophthalmology Update for General Practitioners

Aravind-Tirupati, December 15

Organsied by Sri Venkateswara Aravind Eye Hospital,Tirupati and IMA, Tirupati, the  interactive CME focused on diabetic retinopathy, systemic conditions and the eye, recent advances in cataract surgery, AI inhealth care and RoP.  Hands-on training programmes were arranged on topics such as direct ophthalmoscope, digital fundus imaging, virtual perimetry for visual filed imaging and pin touch IOP check. A total of 171 general practitioners in and around Tirupati participated.  Many delegates also had their eyes examined.

Aravind-Tirupati Completes First Year of Service

Aravind-Tirupati, December 14

A year has gone by since the opening of Sri Venkateswara Aravind Eye Hospital in Tirupati. The OP services was started on December 12, 2018 while the formal inauguration of the hospital was held in March. During December 12, 2018 – December 11, 2019, the hospital catered to 90,922 out-patient visits through paying, subsidised and outreach camps. A total of 8,723 surgeries, lasers and intravitreal injections were performed. Dr. Ashok Vardhan, Chief Medical Officer presented a report on the activities of the last year. Senior leaders of Aravind including Dr. R.D. Ravindran, Chairman were present.  Various cultural programmes were staged.

Christmas Celebration

Aravind, December 20

Christmas was celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm at Aravind-Tirunelveli, Coimbatore, Madurai and Pondicherry. The evening was marked with glittering lights and stars. Cultural programmes like dance, skit and music were performed along with fun games.

Employee Welfare Activity – Bhajan Session

Aravind – Tirunelveli, December 19

A special bhajan session was organsied for the staff by the members of Sri Swami Sivananda Trust, Pathamadai. All staff members attended the bajan and satsang.

Celebrating Margazhi

Aravind-Chennai, December 

Aravind is not just limited to providing quality eye care. It actively invests in activities that promote the unique culture and tradition of the state of Tamil Nadu. Margazhi Fest is an annual festival of dance and music celebrated in Chennai to commemorate the spirit long treasured by Carnatic music and traditional dance forms. Aravind-Chennai organised a similar event for the general public and patients in the hospital premises.Vid.Vaibhav Ramani and Sunadaha Krishnamai, both accomplished artistes in violin and mridnagam respectively mesmerized the audience with their enchanting recitals.

Special guest to Aravind-Tirupati

Aravind-Tirupati, December 30

Ms. Sudha Murthy, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation made a visit to Aravind-Tirupati. She is one of the board members of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. She expressed great interest in knowing more about Aravind’s free services and was taken on a hospital tour.

New Equipment at Bio Chemistry Lab

Aravind-Tirunelveli, December 20

“Selectra Pro M”, a fully automated machine was procured and was inaugurated by Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Advisor, Aravind-Tirunelveli.


LEAP Series 2 – Increasing Efficiency of Outreach Services through Collaborative Approach

LAICO, December 26-28

Inspired by the model developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement – IHI,  LEAP Series 2 aimed to collectively come up with sustainable solutions to increasing efficiency of outreach services by facilitating the participant hospital teams to review existing protocols in outreach and to develop an effective monitoring and review mechanism. Teams from Kumudini Eye Hospital, Tangail, Bangladesh; Deep Eye Care Foundation, Rangpur, Bangladesh and Midnapore Rotary Eye Hospital, West Bengal.Apart from LAICO faculty, Dr. Kedar Mate, Chief Innovation and Education Officer, IHI facilitated various sessions.

Consultancy Visits

Mr. R. Meenakshi Sundaram, Senior Manager-Operations made follow up visit to Kumudini Eye Hospital, Mirzapur, Bangladesh and  Deep Eye care Foundation, Rangpur, Bangladesh

Mr. Mohammed Gowth, Faculty, LAICO visited Midnapore Rotary Eye Hospital, WestBengal.


December 2019

  1. Rathinam S, Vedhanayaki R, Balagiri K. A Cross-Sectional Assessment of Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Toward Leptospirosis among Rural and Urban Population of a South Indian District. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2019 Dec 9:1-12. [Epub] Article View
  2. Hatvani L, Homa M, Chenthamara K, Cai F, Kocsubé S, Atanasova L, Mlinaric-Missoni E, Manikandan P, Revathi R, Dóczi I, Bogáts G, Narendran V, Büchner R, Vágvölgyi C, Druzhinina IS, Kredics L. Agricultural systems as potential sources of emerging human mycoses caused by Trichoderma: a successful,  common phylotype of Trichoderma longibrachiatum in the frontline. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2019 Dec 9. [Epub] Article View
  3. Prithiviraj SR​, Siva Ganesa Karthikeyan R, Hariharan G​, Rameshkumar G​, Ponlakshmi M​, Sankalp Singh S, Lalitha P.​ Clinical presentations, genotypic diversity and phylogenetic analysis of Acanthamoeba species causing keratitis. J Med Microbiol. 2019 Dec. [Epub]. Article View
  4. Meenakshi Sundaram R, Thulasiraj RD, Ganesh Babu BS. Managing demand generation with evidence. Community Eye Health J. 2019;32(107):S11-S12.  Article View
  5. Banushree R, Prakash S, Reddy S, Puthuran GV, Kannan NB, Pillai MR. A Rare Case Report of Frank Ter Haar Syndrome in a Sibling Pair Presenting with Congenital Glaucoma. J Glaucoma. 2019 Dec 4. [Epub] Article View
  6. Kiss N, Homa M, Manikandan P, Mythili A, Krizsán K, Revathi R, Varga M, Papp T, Vágvölgyi C, Kredics L, Kocsubé S. New Species of the Genus Curvularia: C. tamilnaduensis and C. coimbatorensis from Fungal Keratitis Cases in South India. Pathogens. 2019 Dec 20;9(1). pii: E9. Article View
  7. Ranjan R, Shah PK, Giratkar S, Ramachandran S, Venkatapathy N. Primary intraocular mesenchymal chondrosarcoma: a histopathological surprise in an enucleated eye. Can J Ophthalmol. 2019 Dec 21. [Epub] Article View
  8. Madanagopalan GV, Velis G. A Unique Case of Bilateral Valsalva Retinopathy. J Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2019 Oct-Dec;14(4):528-529. Article View
  9. Baskaran P, Rangarajan A, Ramakrishnan S, Gadok SS. Maintenance and management of an ophthalmic operation theater in sub-Saharan Nigeria. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res. 2019 Oct-Dec;57(4):294-302. Article View
  10. Senthilkumar VA, Krishna SM, Das M, Sangoi KP. Bilateral juvenile open-angle glaucoma with keratoconus: A rare association and literature review. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res. 2019 Oct-Dec;57(4):311-315. Article View
  11. Senthilkumar VA, Krishna MS. Conjunctival retraction and patch graft exposure after trabeculectomy with mitomycin C. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res. 2019 Oct-Dec;57(4):334. Article View
  12. Senthilkumar VA, Rajendrababu S. Large scleral buttonhole-intraoperative surprise. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res 2019 Oct-Dec;57(4):337. Article View


Patient Monthly Statistics

December- 2019

Paying (New & Review) 55,812 27,511 8,268 33,356 25,002 4,275 6,185 12,019 4,838 3,643 3,538 9,426 8,044 1,511 203,428
Free:Direct walk-in (New & Review) 13,806 6,375 15,314 11,076 7,494 1,304 1,688 647 1,611 4,507 2,992 66,814
Comprehensive Eye Camps 6,260 2,719 1,951 8,734 2,798 157 891 2,173 1,272 26,955
Diabetic Retinopathy camps 549 206 174 636 682 2,247
Glaucoma Camps
Refraction Camps 1,026 2,563 682 105 132 4,508
Mobile Refraction Unit 591 591
School Screening camps 171 682 970 583 170 226 1,651 4,453
Paediatric Camps 320 245 190 755
RoP 215 140 131 431 30 45 992
Vision Centres 23,383 12,490 5,951 4,707 1,362 1,546 49,439
Community Centres / City Centres 9,279 2,635 1,903 5,572 19,389
Total OP Examinations 1,10,501 55,641 33,937 60,501 43,033 7,268 6,185 14,824 5,485 6,800 3,538 16,256 14,091 1,511 3,79,571
Total Number of Camps 34 20 12 32 15 1 5 13 7 139
Service Proportion of Cataract Surgeries
Paying 2,621 1,177 361 1,611 1,043 168 202 569 140 185 133 873 262 9,345
Free (Direct) 1,494 517 233 1,173 532 154 130 180 74 263 371 190 5 5,316
Camp 986 661 204 1,834 441 21 131 18 276 144 4,716
Total Cataract Surgeries 5,101 2,355 798 4,618 2,016 343 332 880 214 466 133 1,520 596 5 19,377
Note: NA – Not Applicable


Enrolments for December 2019

December – 2019

Course title
Training Centre
No. of enrolments
Fellowship in Anterior Segment / Intraocular Lens Surgery
Madurai 1
Fellowship in Cornea
Madurai 2
Coimbatore 1
Fellowship in Retina
Coimbatore 2
Fellowship in General Ophthalmology
Madurai 1
Theni 1
Fellowship in Orbit and Oculoplasty
Coimbatore 1
Fellowship in Glaucoma
Pondicherry 1
Management of Retinopathy of Prematurity and Paediatric Retinal Disorders
Coimbatore 1
Madurai 2
Pondicherry 1
Small incision cataract surgery
Madurai 1
Coimbatore 1
Lasers in Diabetic Retinopathy
Madurai 2
Coimbatore 1
Certificate course in Fundus Fluorescein Angiography and Ultrasonography
Madurai 1
Instrument Maintenance Course for Technicians