L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) has made a difference to over 15 million (1.5 crore) people in India since its inception 25 years back in 1987. The Institute which began with offering clinical eye care services, has today grown to integrate other allied services that cover a wide range of the eye health value chain. The institute is spread across 108 locations in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, with its Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad.
LVPEI's journey began when its Founder-Chair Dr Gullapalli Nageshwar Rao, in the midst of a brilliant career in the US, first began to feel the tug of his motherland in 1980. With the support of his wife Pratibha Rao, family, joined by a few friends, the journey commenced. Soon, a single man's vision transformed into a collective effort of establishing a world-class eye institute in Hyderabad that introduced quality eye care to Andhra Pradesh and India. The institute was named L V Prasad Eye Institute in honour of the major donor who donated the premises on which the institute's Centre of Excellence stands today.
LVPEI's mission to eliminate causes of avoidable blindness saw it expand organically to include community outreach activities in a bid to reach quality eye care to the doorsteps of those who could not travel to the cities to access it. The institute's Education arm was introduced to address the dire need to educate and train adequate numbers of eye health personnel for India's burgeoning population and for other developing countries. Then institute's goal is to create "3H" eye care professionals who serve with the right balance of "hands, head and heart".
LVPEI's Research and Eye Bank too were initiated to address similar needs, while its Rehabilitation and Sight Enhancement services address the needs of those in whom vision loss cannot be restored. The institute offers qualitative comprehensive ophthalmic care to both paying and non-paying patients without any discrimination. Its rehabilitation centres have successfully rehabilitated over one lakh visually impaired clients till date, while its eye bank has harvested over 36,000 donor corneas and transplanted over 19,000 of them to needy patients. The institute also has the distinction of performing over 800 limbal stem cell transplantations.
The LVPEI network today includes a Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad, 3 tertiary centres in Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, 10 secondary and 89 primary care centres that cover the remotest rural areas in Andhra Pradesh, as well as 4 city centres. It is also a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness.
A nostalgic Dr Gullapalli N Rao said, "We learnt early on that healing requires more than just excellent clinical care. It requires the diligent application of EXCELLENCE, EQUITY and EFFICIENCY in all our endeavours. This has been the mantra for our success that has seen us rise to be among the best eye institutes in the world. Looking forward, I hope that we will sustain the momentum to become the top eye institute in the world."
As LVPEI celebrates its Silver Jubilee, the institute has been organizing a series of international academic conferences and meetings through the year to commemorate its anniversary through 2011-2012. The celebrations will culminate with a major international scientific meeting, Evidence 2012. This scientific meeting is being held on June 1 and 2 at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre and the primary theme is evidence-based ophthalmology. Evidence 2012 would be the catalyst for change in the way ophthalmology is practiced in India and is expected to set a course for the future. Experts in their areas of interest will speak on topics close to their heart and bring to table hot points for discussion.
LVPEI is also bringing out a commemorative book encapsulating its journey through the years. This commemorative book 'So that all may see' will be unveiled on June 1 at the gala event being organized for all its stakeholders and employees. A video documentary tribute to the employees of LVPEI and a mesmerizing Kathak recital by Mangala Bhat will be part of the grand finale of the event.
On the eve of the silver jubilee on May 31, the LVPEI Alumni Association - a group of about 300 ophthalmologists trained from LVPEI - honoured a few of their former teachers with mementos. Those honoured include Dr G N Rao, Dr G Chandra Sekhar, Dr Taraprasad Das, Dr D Balasubramanian, Dr A K Mandal, Dr Savitri Sharma, Dr Aashish Bansal, Dr Satish Gupta, Dr C V M Reddy, Dr Sri Ramulu and Dr Prasad.
Globally, 285 million people are vision impaired, of whom nearly 40 million are blind. LVPEI has succeeded in taking high quality, comprehensive eye care to all sections of people in the remotest rural areas through its innovative pyramidal model of delivery. The prime goal of the Institute now is to ensure that elimination of avoidable blindness is sustained to the maximum extent through this model.
About L V Prasad Eye Institute
The L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) was established in 1986-87 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 Center for VISION 2020: The Right to Sight initiative.
LVPEI has six active arms to its areas of operations namely Clinical Services, Education, Research, Rehabilitation and Sight Enhancement Services, Eye Bank, and Public Health and Rural Outreach.
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