Internal Capacity Building
Vellore, 9th June
R. Devi, Data Coordinator, Department of Biostatistics, attended the REDCap software database development and management workshop organised by the Biostatistics Department of CMC, Vellore.
CME - ‘DCR - From Inside and Outside’
Aravind-Madurai, 3rd June
Orbit and Oculoplasty Services, Aravind-Madurai organised a one day CME for all Aravind centres. This CME on Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) focus was on the anatomy, complications and management of lacrimal system disorders. Dr. R. Kim, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind-Madurai welcomed the participants, and Dr. R.D. Ravindran, Chairman, Aravind Eye Care System (AECS), delivered the inaugural address. Dr. R. Usha Kim, Chief, Orbit and Oculoplasty Services, Aravind-Madurai, the organising secretary, provided an introduction and overview of the CME. Dr. Devjyoti Tripathy, Consultant, Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery, Orbit and Ocular Oncology, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Bhubaneswar and an alumnus of Aravind, participated as a guest faculty and shared his vast experiences in the field. A total of 60 participants, comprising of Orbit fellows and postgraduates from across all Aravind centres attended the programme.
Opening of an Additional Hostel
Aravind-Theni, 3rd June
To address the issue of space constraint in the nurses’ hostel, Aravind-Theni opened an additional facility. Vasthupooja and Ganapathy Homam of the new building were performed in the presence of Dr. P. Namperumalsamy, Chairman-Emeritus, and Dr. G. Natchiar, Director-Emeritus, AECS.
Eye Donation Awareness Programme
Sivakasi, 30th May
Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank (RAIEB), Aravind-Madurai organised the programme at the Government Hospital, Sivakasi. D. Saravanan, Manager, RAIEB spoke about the importance of eye donation and the hospital’s cornea retrieval programme. He also emphasised the crucial role of health care professionals in the cornea retrieval programme. A total of 40 participants, including doctors and nurses attended.
Survivor’s Meet during World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week
Aravind-Madurai/Coimbatore, 20th May
During Retinoblastoma Awareness Week, Aravind-Madurai organised the annual survivor’s meet for children who have overcome Retinoblastoma. The event featured cultural activities by these children, making it a special occasion. The programme was attended by 150 children with their parents and siblings. Dr. Usha Kim extended a warm welcome to the attendees and highlighted the importance of retinoblastoma management. The event recognised the remarkable achievements of some of these children who have cleared board exams and have excelled in various fields, despite their challenges. Dr. P. Namperumalsamy stressed Aravind’s efforts in raising awareness, establishing a research centre, and providing rehabilitation activities to fight against the disease. M.V. Muthuramalingam, Chairman of Velammal Group of Institutions, acknowledged the continuous learning experience he gained during his visits to Aravind. Dr. R.D. Ravindran shared a patient’s success story regarding retinoblastoma genetic testing at Aravind. Dr. VR. Muthukkaruppan, Advisor, AMRF, discussed genetic testing and the affordable cost of testing at Aravind compared to foreign countries. Dr. K. Dharmalingam, Director-Research, AMRF, highlighted Aravind’s dual focus on treatment and prevention, with research and medicine playing integral roles in patient care. Dr. P. Vijayalakshmi, Senior Medical Consultant, Paediatric Ophthalmology, Aravind-Madurai, spoke about the children’s experience when they were able to see through eyeglasses. Dr. Natchiar, reassured parents that after disease identification and tumour removal, routine follow-up visits reduces further issues.
The event featured video clips showcasing the talents of the retinoblastoma survivors, including dancing, singing, poetry recitation, playing musical instruments and many others. The dedicated team of doctors, fellows, MLOP, genetic testing team, and research students were introduced to the audience. Jayanthi, a 21-year-old retinoblastoma survivor currently pursuing B.Ed. in special education encouraged parents to be supportive to their children in order to boost their confidence. Survivors and their family were provided sumptuous food, and children were given attractive gifts.
Aravind-Coimbatore organised a special event during the 8th year of World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week, inviting retinoblastoma patients and their families. The event saw a significant turnout, with a total of 117 retinoblastoma survivors along with their parents and siblings. All of them underwent comprehensive eye examinations. The programme commenced with a warm welcome address by R. Umapriya, HR-Manager, Aravind-Coimbatore. Dr. Prema, Medical Consultant, Aravind-Coimbatore provided a detailed explanation about the different categories and stages of retinoblastoma, as well as the treatment options. Dr. Pradeep Kumar, Geneticist, Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital, spoke about the importance of genetic tests, while Dr. Kavitha Yuvarajan, Medical Consultant, Aravind-Coimbatore, elaborated on the process of customised prosthetic fitting. Dr. Saravana Kumar, Anaesthetist, Aravind-Coimbatore gave an insightful talk on inhalational anaesthesia and addressed patient’s queries. Rajakumari, Counsellor, delivered the vote of thanks. Children who attended the event received hot pack lunch boxes, building blocks, umbrellas, smileys, and balloons. Vinod and Traver entertained the children with games, songs and dances. This was followed by a magic show.
An interactive session was arranged for parents, providing them an opportunity to share their experiences and connect with one another. Patients showcased their talents through various performances such as dance, playing keyboard, Silambattam, monoact, and more. Two patients, one working in the medical field and the other in IT, delivered motivating speeches that uplifted the spirits of everyone present there. One of them said, “Self motivate yourself, remember that your parents are your strongest support, if anyone criticises your disability, it’s because they are jealous of your growth. You are superior to them, so don’t get depressed”. They encouraged others not to get disheartened by any criticism regarding their disabilities. The atmosphere was filled with positivity and liveliness as patients interacted with each other, leaving with a renewed sense of positivity. A delicious lunch was served after the formal programme.