Sri M Venkaiah Naidu to Inaugurate LVPEI Anant Bajaj Retina Institute

Sri M Venkaiah Naidu to Inaugurate LVPEI Anant Bajaj Retina Institute

Hyderabad, 18 May 2022: The Anant Bajaj Retina Institute, an Institute of Excellence and a Global Resource Centre, at L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) will be formally inaugurated on 18 May 2022. Named as the Anant Bajaj Retina Institute in the loving memory of the late Mr Anant Bajaj, it is an integral part of LVPEI. The inauguration will happen in the presence of the Honourable Vice President of India Sri M Venkaiah Naidu, the senior family members of the Bajaj family, the senior leadership team of LVPEI, and Pullela Gopichand, the Chief National Coach for the India national badminton team. The Honourable Vice President is expected to attend the event virtually.

Retinal diseases are among the most important causes of vision impairment and blindness. Retina is the inner light-sensitive layer of the eye and plays a critical role for us to see the world around us. Once damaged, it may cause serious and irreversible vision loss. Examples of some vision-threatening retinal problems are Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration, Retinal Detachment, Retinitis Pigmentosa, other hereditary retinal diseases, and Retinopathy of Prematurity. Annually, more than 100,000 patients are examined for retinal problems at LVPEI and over 20,000 retinal surgeries are performed.

Considering the progress made by L V Prasad Eye Institute in the specialty of Retina, the available pool of talent, the state-of-the-art infrastructure, and its global reputation, it was decided to create an Institute of Excellence for Retina at LVPEI that will bring advanced retina eye care closer to the doorstep of the community. The support to create this institute came from the renowned Bajaj family who are equally committed to eliminating needless blindness. The Anant Bajaj Retina Institute focuses on:

-          Bringing advanced retinal eye care services closer to the doorstep of communities, and make it accessible and affordable for all

-          Establishing itself as an Institute offering world class care and treatment for all kinds of retinal diseases

-          Offer better treatment options to patients encompassing the latest technological advances for retinal diseases

Speaking on the occasion Sri M Venkaiah Naidu said, very happy to virtually inaugurate the Anant Bajaj Retina Institute, a centre of excellence formed with the collaboration between L V Prasad Eye Institute and the Bajaj Group. I would have been more happy to participate in the actual conference, because of my pre-occupation, as I am away, I am virtually inaugurating this. My best wishes for a fruitful partnership between the reputed institutions in bringing affordable, accessible, quality retinal eyecare services for all those in need. The WHO reports at least 2.2 bn people have a near or distant vision impairment, this is alarming figure, at least 1 bn. or half of these cases, vision impairment could have been prevented. Studies indicate that among those diseases retinal diseases are an emerging cause of visual impairment in the developing world. As you all are aware, the human eye is very complex organ of which the retina plays a critical role for us to see the world around us. Once damaged they cause a serious irreversible visual loss. Examples of few such vision related retina problems are diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal detachment among other grave conditions. Heartening to know that the LV Prasad Eye Institute is also specialised in retina care, more than 1 lakh patients are seen by retina faculty in its clinics and more than 20000 retinal surgeries are performed at LVPEI every year. I am sure this collaboration with the Bajaj Group will make retina care in India even more advanced and state of the art treatment will be available to people not only from India but from all over the world. It is an undeniable fact that the awareness about preventive and curative care in a specialised field like retina care is low among the common people. The need of the hour is to increase awareness among people about the importance of eye health, multimedia campaigns in local languages with celebs and icons with the message going to the people that vision impairment is preventable and curable too. Along with this awareness there is an urgent need to devise a multipronged strategy for strengthening preventive and curable eyecare across the country, particularly in the rural areas, where the access to ophthalmology is poor. Our community health workers, Asha workers should be trained in initial screening of eye diseases and patients can then referred to secondary or tertiary care centres. Complimenting the Governments efforts, private hospitals should also open separate centres in the villages and Mandal headquarters. Corporates should spend their CSR funds to support hospitals to open some of these centres. Community awareness is critical in a rural setting, therefore awareness programs should be organised at community levels by healthcare institutions and NGOs periodically. Off late we have increased our average screen time by spending too long a time looking at screens, which pains our eyes and causes other eye diseases, we must educate our children about the excessive viewing of screen. We must guide them at an young age itself and regulate the use of these gadgets particularly among children, who run a higher risk of technology addiction. People should be advised to undergo regular eye exam to keep their eye health in check. A general awareness about eye health must increase in India. Dr GN Rao and his team here work with a missionary zeal. Share and care is the core of Indian philosophy, all wealthy people should come forward to join such initiatives and spend some of their time and wealth for the cause of ordinary people by providing such health care.    

One of the strategic areas of focus for LVPEI is developing Institutes of Excellence and Global Resource Centres for controlling all major forms of blindness and visual impairment through dedicated efforts from health promotion to the treatment of complex eye diseases and rehabilitation of the incurably blind. The Anant Bajaj Retina Institute is one such initiative. We are grateful to the Bajaj family for their generous support,” says, Dr Prashant Garg, Executive Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute.

 “Anant Bajaj was passionate about eye health and making it available to all. It was Anant’s dream to combine cutting-edge technology with philanthropy to make a difference in the lives of people. We are grateful that LVPEI has acknowledged the vision of Anant Bajaj and named the centre as the Anant Bajaj Retina Institute. Through this association, the Bajaj Group and LVPEI have joined resources to reach out to millions of Indians to provide the best possible eye care”, says, Mr Shekhar Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director, Bajaj Electricals Limited.

“LVPEI, through the Anant Bajaj Retina Institute as a Global Resource Centre and Institute of Excellence, will be able to accelerate the work in the field of retinal diseases both directly through its network and indirectly by helping with capacity building of other organisations, training programs and research with the objective of controlling blindness from retinal problems. We extend our sincere thanks to Mr Shekhar Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director Bajaj Electricals Limited, Ms Pooja Bajaj and family for this partnership”, says, Dr Raja Narayanan, Director, Anant Bajaj Retina Institute.