The Department of Neuro-Ophthalmology, Aravind-Coimbatore, has brought out the eighth edition of Coimbatore Aravind Neuro-Ophthalmology Newsletter (CANN) with a focus on cases with systemic associations, reinforcing the fact that Neuro-Ophthalmology is not a solitary pursuit, but a collaborative journey.
New Vision Centres
Aravind–Pondicherry, 22nd November
Aravind’s 109th vision centre was inaugurated at Vettavalam, Thiruvannamalai District. The inaugural ceremony was led by MJF Ln. Dr. G. Narasimman, Former District Governor, alongside MJF Ln. Sayar. Dr. D. Aravindhakumar, Former District Governor, MJF Ln. P. Ilangovan, GAT, Coordinator, and Dr. R. Venkatesh. At this centre, patients are examined remotely by doctors from the base hospital via telecommunications.
Aravind-Tirunelveli, 8th December
Aravind’s 110th Vision Centre at Kalakkad was inaugurated by Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Aravind-Tirunelveli, and attended by Dr. Sivasubramanian, Dr. Aruna, Thiru Rajan, Kalakkad Municipal Deputy Chairman, Aysha Banu, Ward Councillor, along with staff members, well-wishers, and patrons of Aravind. The event’s organising team included Dr. Haridass, Incharge–Vision Centres, Murugan, EMR Coordinator, Shanmuga Sundari, Assistant Nursing Superintendent, Alstin, Assistant Administrator, Stephen, VC Coordinator, Lakshmi, HR Manager, and Andal, Maintenance Coordinator. Notably, the inaugural day saw the screening of 57 patients.
Cataract Education Zone
Aravind-Tirunelveli, 7th December
Dr. R. Ramakrishnan inaugurated the Cataract Education Zone at Aravind-Tirunelveli, a significant initiative aimed at raising awareness among patients and their attendants about cataract surgery. The event witnessed the presence of Dr. R. Meenakshi, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind-Tirunelveli, along with Anburaj and Narayanan from ALCON, and other staff members.
Office Based Digital Resource Training
Aravind-Tirunelveli, 6th December
The Office Based Digital Resource Training initiative for the visually impaired was started at the Vision Rehabilitation Clinic as a part of the vocational training programme with the support of the Vision Aid project. This initiative was inaugurated by Dr. R. Ramakrishnan in the presence of Dr. R. Meenakshi, Chief Medical Officer, and staff members. A demonstration of the software and other resources integral to the digital training programme was expertly presented by Selvi, Refractionist, Aravind-Tirunelveli who had previously undergone a course at Aravind-Madurai.
Kannae Nalamaa Exhibition
Aravind-Pondicherry, 29th November- 2nd December
Aravind-Pondicherry, organised a five-day exhibition, ‘Kannae, Nalamaa,’ with a focus on educating school and nursing college students, as well as patients and attenders. The exhibition featured interactive tools such as engaging 3D models, posters, and videos to impart crucial knowledge about eye care, diseases, and available treatment options. The MLOPs demonstrated eye care to the public at each stall. The exhibition reached over 1200 school children and more than 600 other attendees.
Aravind-Tirupati, 29th November
Aravind-Tirupati recently hosted a Graduation Day ceremony for MLOPs who have successfully completed their training and are now assuming full-time roles at Aravind-Tirupati. The celebratory event commenced with candle lighting and the administration of the Florence Nightingale pledge. Trainees took the opportunity to share their valuable experiences gained during their training period. Kesav Kumar, Manager, Administration and Finance, addressed the graduates, emphasising the importance of cultivating the habit of saving. The ceremony also featured congratulatory remarks from Dr. S. Ashok Vardhan, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Preethi, Chief, Intraocular Lens & Cataract Services, and Dr. Peddireddy Hema, Medical Consultant, Intraocular Lens & Cataract Services, Aravind-Tirupati.
CME on Diabetes and I to Retinopathy and Beyond
Aravind-Tirunelveli, 26th November
In connection with World Diabetes Day, Aravind –Tirunelveli organised a CME on the theme of diabetes and its broader implications. Distinguished external speakers, Dr. Selvaraj, Diabetologist, Dr. Sivaprakash, Endocrinologist, Dr. Thirulogachander, Cardiologist, Dr. V. Ramasubramanian, Nephrologist, Dr. Sivan Arul Selvam, Endocrinology & Diabetologist, Dr. Ananthi, Ophthalmologist, from Tirunelveli Medical College & Hospital; and internal speakers, Dr. Sherin Haroon M., Dr. Maneksha.V., Dr. Anitha V., Dr. Pooja Pawar, Dr. Ram Sudarshan R, and Dr. Syed Mohideen, handled insightful sessions on systemic manifestations and the latest advancements in diabetes management. There were discussions on the impact of diabetes on the cataract and cornea, alongside presentations on epidemiology, clinical features, and the management of diabetic retinopathy.
Additionally, a quiz competition was conducted. A total of 80 participants, comprising fellows and postgraduates from Aravind, as well as postgraduates from the departments of Ophthalmology and General Medicine, Tirunelveli, and Tuticorin Medical Colleges, took part in the event.
National Myopia Awareness Week
Aravind-Coimbatore, 20-26 November
MYOPIA has emerged as a growing concern for children, with an estimated 50% of the population expected to be affected by 2050. Mindful of this, the Myopia Clinic under the Paediatric Ophthalmology Department of Aravind-Coimbatore organised a myopia awareness week activity with the theme #GoGreenLessScreen. This week-long campaign was dedicated to enlightening the public about childhood myopia, its causes, and how outdoor sports and minimising screen time can effectively prevent and slow down the progression of myopia in children.
To draw attention to this issue, group counselling sessions were conducted, specifically targeting attendants of daycare cataract surgery patients. The awareness activity attracted nearly 200 participants, including supportive staff, administrative personnel, and visitors.
At Aravind-Tirupati, an exhibition was organised on the theme of “More green less screen” featuring educational posters about the risk factors of myopia, how to prevent it, and the importance of using glasses. Notably, these posters are made of cardboard and colour paint.
Workshop on the Care and Maintenance of Ophthalmic Instruments and Equipment
Aravind-Pondicherry, 25th November
Organised by the Biomedical Engineering Department of Aravind-Pondicherry, the 4th Workshop on Instruments Maintenance was inaugurated by Dr. R. Venkatesh, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind-Pondicherry. During the event, Dr. Venkatesh unveiled the second edition of the “Handbook on Instrument and Equipment Maintenance,” which was warmly received by Prof. N. Manickam, Instrument and Maintenance, Aravind-Madurai. The workshop featured comprehensive training, including PowerPoint presentations, instructional videos, and live demonstrations on maintaining, cleaning, and repairing various ophthalmic instruments. The session concluded with an interactive Kahoot quiz and an awards ceremony to recognise participants’ efforts. Over 110 skilled optometrists and biomedical engineers attended.
Eye Donation Awareness Programme
Madurai, 21st November
Organised by the Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank, Aravind-Madurai, at Gandhi Museum, Madurai, D. Saravanan, Manager, Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank, handled a session on eye donation and the role of students in eye donation. The event was presided over by Nandha Rao, Secretary, and R. Natarajan, Education Officer, Gandhi Museum. A total of 60 participants took part.
World Prematurity Day
Aravind, 17th November
Aravind Eye Hospitals in Madurai, and Coimbatore observed World Prematurity Day by displaying awareness posters to emphasize the importance of early and prompt screening and treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).
During the event held at Aravind-Tirunelveli, organised for parents of ROP babies, Dr. Syed Mohideen, Chief, Retina Services, Dr. Fathima, Medical Consultant, Paediatric Department, Aravind-Tirunelveli, delivered talks to raise awareness. Dr. Ramakrishnan, Advisor, Aravind-Tirunelveli, addressed the parents about the significance of ROP follow-up. A total of 73 families of ROP babies, especially those who had undergone laser/injections, participated in this programme.
Aravind-Pondicherry, 17th November
To commemorate the initiation of a new journey, Aravind-Pondicherry organised a graduation day for the MLOPs. The ceremony was led by Dr. R. Venkatesh, Dr. Veena K., Regional HR Director, Pondicherry & Salem, as well as MLOP in-charge doctors, Dr. Josephine Christy, and Dr. Sivagami. This graduation day signified the transition of MLOP sisters from trainee positions to full-time employees. The graduates administered the Florence Nightingale pledge during the occasion.