‘Community ophthalmology a big step forward in eye treatment’

community ophthalmology

Our Correspondent

Silchar, July 18: There is no denying the fact that community ophthalmology has taken the medical world by storm. Lions Silchar Central Trust added another feather in its cap by building community ophthalmology at Lions Eye Hospital campus, Park road of Silchar on Wednesday. Lions Silchar Central Institute of Community Ophthalmology was inaugurated by the medical director of Sri Sankardeva Nethralaya, Guwahati, living legend Dr Harsha Bhattacharjee.

Addressing the august assembly on the occasion of inaugural ceremony, Dr Harsha Bhattacharjee said, “It is indeed a historic moment. Lions Club deserves a special mention here. I am overjoyed and overwhelmed. Community ophthalmology is relatively a new discipline and has taken the medical world by storm.” Community ophthalmology is a new discipline in medicine which promotes eye health and prevents blindness through programmes that utilize methodologies of public health, community medicine and ophthalmology. It is a big step forward in eye treatment. It came in the year 1978.”

“In the discipline of community ophthalmology, the new cadre of personnel known as eye health care workers, eye health care educators or ophthalmic assistants are trained to provide eye care and blindness prevention services at the village or door to door level,” Dr Harsha Bhattacharjee added to say. In his key note address, Lion Tribeni Prasad Chakravorty who is also the director of the Institute said the genesis of this Institute lies in the formation of Lions Club of Silchar Central in 1978, since when the Club has been organizing periodical cataract operation camps in Barak Valley.

“It is a full-fledged Institution with all clinical operations in anterior segment eye care and is now embarking on extending clinical operations in the posterior segment and upgrading the Hospital to a super specialty eye care centre. The Hospital with 6 full time doctors and 40 paramedical staff is now performing more than 6000 cataract and other operations and is doing nearly 60% of the total operations in the target area and also handling more than 1 lakh patients per year,” said Tribeni Prasad Chakravorty.

Some of the visions of the community ophthalmology include conduction of extensive training and learning in community ophthalmology, developing and grooming trained outreach project managers and coordinators, developing senior mid level ophthalmic personnel by starting a 4 year B Sc. Optometry course with affiliation from Srimanta Sankardev University of Health Sciences, Assam and junior mid level ophthalmic personnel by starting a 2 year customized ophthalmic technician course and making a target area a fully avoidable blindness free in phased manner. Among others present included Lion V K Luthra, international director, Lions Club International, Lion Dr M L Agarwalla, district governor.