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Preventable blindness a Scourge: Technology can provide Succor – say top ophthalmologists

New Delhi: It is only adoption of the latest technological advances in the field of Ophthalmology, which can lead to a reduction in the blindness load of India, feel the top ophthalmologists of the country and abroad. It is with a mission to tackle this burning problem, amplified by the significant Urban-Rural divide in India, that the who’s who of international and national ophthalmology have got together at the Annual Conference of Intraocular Implant and Refractive Society (IIRSI) being held at New Delhi on 23rd and 24th September, 2017.

“With 11.2% of the Indian population suffering from preventable blindness, and India contributing one out of every 3 cases of blindness to the world, this is an issue which needs to be tackled on a war footing. With about 2 million cases added every year, it is no surprise that the economic and social burden of this preventable deluge is a drag on the holistic development of the nation, let alone the quality of life of those affected.” saysPadmashri awardee Dr Mahipal S Sachdev, Chairman of the scientific committee of IIRSI and the CMD of Centre for Sight: one of the largest chain of eye centres in India.

The meeting, to be inaugurated by Shri Anil Baijal, Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, will have about 300 talks by experts in various fields of ophthalmology spread over two days and a Surgical Skill Transfer Session aimed at sharing ways and techniques to improve surgical outcomes in Ophthalmic procedures.

Here to attend the Annual Conference of Intraocular Implant and Refractive Society (IIRSI), these ophthalmologists plan to indulge in several brain storming sessions on how to make the latest cutting-edge technology available to the masses. The meeting will be attended by Dr Amar Agarwal, the Secretary General of IIRSI. Dr Gaurav Luthra, the president of IIRSI and a leading practitioner of Dehradun will also take part in the deliberations.

This meeting is unique as it is also being attended by top functionaries of the Ophthalmic manufacturing industry, led by Mr Tom Frinzi, Global head(Surgical), Johnson & Johnson. The industry and the ophthalmologists hope to find a common meeting ground so as to reduce the cost of technology, mutually cooperate to impart training on the latest machines and cater to the vast rural population of India.

“The earlier we realize that technological penetration to the last person in the remotest village of this country is the only way to eradicate preventable blindness from this country, the better. “added Dr Sachdev.

In his views, adoption of the latest methodology in treatment of ophthalmic disorders not only leads to faster recovery, saving man days and putting the afflicted back to his job early, but it also helps increase the number of sight restoring procedures that can be performed in the given time. The real challenge lies in making this technology available at the grass root level, and training ophthalmologists and technicians in the peripheral hospitals to embrace this technology.

The Annual conference of IIRSI, with a faculty of more than 250 National and International experts in ophthalmology and about 1200 delegates from India and abroad expected to attend, offers a forum for pushing this agenda and coordinating efforts towards its implementation.

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