Since we started working in India in 1963, Operation Eyesight has made great strides in that country. Our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health model has been endorsed by Vision 2020 India, and other organizations look to us as leaders in the eye health community.
Our India projects are growing by leaps and bounds, and serving many levels of eye health across the country, from community programs to secondary and tertiary hospitals. However, one area of eye health where we saw a need is that of eye cancer, or ocular oncology.
I am very excited to announce that last week, we officially opened the doors to the Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer in India!
This centre, which has been established at the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in the city of Hyderabad, will deal exclusively with tumors within and around the eye. It will provide comprehensive treatment for the entire range of ophthalmic tumors in both adults and children. It will emerge as a centre of excellence, offering critically required services to India and other developing countries through research, capacity-building and education programs.
There are only a few centres around the world that specialize in this type of integrated treatment and serve as a global resource centre, and we are proud to now operate one of them!
The Institute has been made possible thanks to a generous gift from members of an anonymous Canadian family that has supported our work for many years. The family recognizes the critical need for affordable care for eye cancer patients, especially in India where there is a high burden of eye cancer.
Like all of us at Operation Eyesight, the family believes in providing ‘the best for the poorest.’ Patients will now be able to receive the specialized treatment they need, and those who cannot afford to pay will be offered treatment free of cost. We expect to treat 500 patients in our first year of operation.
On behalf of all of us at Operation Eyesight, I would like to extend our warmest thanks to our donor family and to Dr. Gullapalli (Nag) Rao and his team at LVPEI. With your support, Operation Eyesight has taken a giant step toward becoming a leader in the field of ocular oncology.
Together, we will continue to save eyes, vision and lives… for all the world to see!