Hyderabad, September 15, 2018: L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI)’s community eye care arm the Gullapalli Pratibha Rao International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye care (GPR ICARE) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The centre is named after one of the Institute’s major contributors and coordinates all of LVPEI’s rural eye health programs, as well as plays a major role in training community eye health professionals from all over the world, besides being a leader in public health research and advocacy. It is a WHO Collaborating Centre for the Prevention of Blindness.
This landmark occasion coincides with the Council of Members Meet of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), an international alliance of all eye care organisations, corporations and institutions from around the world. Around 400 delegates are attending the Council, which is being hosted by LVPEI, to celebrate the progress made in India and across the South East Asia Region. The Council is discussing the challenges in eye health, not just in the region, but across the world. Dignitaries who graced the occasion included the Union Health Minister Sri J P Nadda; Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Sri ESL Narasimhan;, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for South East Asia Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh; the President of IAPB Mr Bob McMullan; the Chief Executive of the IAPB Mr Peter Holland; Dr Maria Alarcos Cieza Moreno and Dr Ivo Kocur from the World Health Organization, Geneva;and Prof Hugh Taylor, Immediate Past President of International Council of Ophthalmology.
Reflecting the diverse alliance that constitutes IAPB, the program covered topics such as Patient Safety and Treatment Outcomes (by the World Health Organization and L V Prasad Eye Institute), Eye Health Financing (by experts from the Fred Hollows Foundation), Creating and Maintaining Successful Partnerships (with experiences and advice led by the Lions Clubs International Foundation) and Guidelines for School Eye Health programmes (by the Brien Holden Vision Institute), Gender and Eye Health, Emerging technologies, training, sustainability, Primary eye health and Low vision care.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr Gullapalli N Rao, Founder and Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute said, “For the last 20 years, Gullapalli Pratibha Rao International Centre for the Advancement of Rural Eye care (GPR ICARE) have been reaching out to communities, most often the neglected and the unreached, and are making quality eye care accessible and affordable to them. Over 70% of the patients seen in our rural programs are treated free of cost, regardless of the complexity of their problem, and over 90% of these patients belong to remote, rural and tribal areas.”
The LVPEI rural eye care network comprises 18 secondary care level hospitals and 176primary care Vision Centres, and various community-screening programs in remote rural and tribal areas of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. These provide direct comprehensive high-quality eye care to about 1.5 to 2.0 crore people in these areas covering around 10,000 villages in 22 districts. Several secondary centres are now equipped to provide complex surgical eye care to patients such as corneal transplant, squint, oculoplasty, etc. Deployment of technology through teleconsultations and teleophthalmology has enabled the centre to make quality eye care more accessible for the community. Eye health personnel are trained in community eye health through various short-term and long-term training programs, and are recruited from local communities. This pyramidal model of eye care has become one of the most successful models in the world.
Sharing his experience Dr RohitC Khanna, Director, GPR ICARE said, “Complemented by dynamic governance, motivated teams, sophisticated technology and the right people at the right place, GPR ICARE has evolved into an efficient eye health care service delivery component of LVPEI. We are always indebted to all our donors and institutions spread across the globe for giving their infinite support to make this possible. As we step into the future, we are driven by our manifesto of ensuring that nobody is denied eyecare and everybody is empowered to enjoy their right to sight.”
On the occasion, a short film “Enhancing vision, Enchanting lives” on the 20 years of GPR ICARE, and a commemorative book “Reaching Out” encapsulating the GPR ICARE journey over the years were released.
About L V Prasad Eye Institute
The L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) was established in 1987 at Hyderabad as a not-for-profit, non-government, public-spirited, comprehensive eye care institution. LVPEI is governed by two trusts: the Hyderabad Eye Institute and the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation. The Institute is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness and a Global Resource Centre for VISION 2020: The Right to Sight initiative. LVPEI has ten active arms to its areas of operations: Clinical Services, Education, Research, Vision Rehabilitation, Rural and Community Eye Health, Eye Banking, Advocacy and Policy Planning, Capacity Building, Innovation and Product Development.
The LVPEI pyramidal model of eye care delivery currently includes a Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad, 3 tertiary centres in Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, 18 secondary and 176 primary care vision centres that cover the remotest rural areas in the four states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka. For further information, visit the Institute’s website, www.lvpei.org
For further information, please contact:
Dr Sreedevi Yadavalli
Head – Communications and Corporate Relations
Tel: +91 98491 71895, +91 040 23547254, +91 040 30612371