The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Madurai boost for cornea cure

The Aravind Eye Hospital and Post-Graduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Madurai, has tied up with a city-based clinic to provide state-of-the-art facilities in corneal transplants.

So far, those needing a transplant had to travel down south because of better facilities and fast availability of donated corneas. Out of 22,000 corneas procured for transplants throughout the country, West Bengal had managed to collect only 296 in 2001.

All that, however, is likely to change as M.P. Birla Eye Clinic, which has tied up with the Aravind Eye Hospital, will receive 100 usable corneas for transplants in Calcutta every year. The Madurai institute is the largest service provider in eye-care throughout the country.

“All corneas, collected from donations, are not necessarily fit for transplants. Last year, only 8,800 transplants could be conducted as most of the corneas collected were not up to the mark,” said ophthalmologist A. Kundu of M.P. Birla Eye Clinic.

Apart from training doctors and nurses in the city, the clinic will provide technical support to the Calcutta team, announced G. Natchiar of Aravind. The Madurai-based hospital group has plans to launch a tele-medicine network throughout the country and in Nepal.

Specialists from Aravind will train doctors on the latest advances of medical science through CME (Continuing Medical Education) programmes.

“Topics like phacoemulsification, orbit and oculoplasty (plastic surgery), apart from the advances in cataract surgery, will be discussed,” said ophthalmologist and administrator of Aravind, A. Srinivasan.

Following the tie-up, M.P. Birla Eye Clinic will be able to offer the latest treatment in ophthalmology, ranging from glaucoma therapy to plastic surgery and corneal grafting.

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