Zeiss and the Christoffel Mission for the Blind (CBM) have – together with a local partner, the Poona Blind Men Association – opened a new training centre for treating cataracts in Pune, India. The goal is to train ophthalmologists and medical personnel throughout the country in phacoemulsification, a minimally invasive surgical technique that employs ultrasonic vibrations to break up and suck out clouded lenses.
Dr Ludwin Monz, Chairman of the Management Board at Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, said “The new phaco training centre is the result of a longstanding, goal-driven collaboration between CBM and Zeiss. We already opened a special training centre in Paraguay last year.”
With this new centre, we’re doing our part to enable top-quality ophthalmic care. In the future, poorer people in remote regions will also benefit from this
Doctors and medical personnel will learn how to use these modern devices at the training centre located at the H.V. Desai Eye Hospital in India. This ensures that they will be able to provide patients with medical treatment in line with the latest standards.
Of the 36 million blind people around the world, approximately one third of cases were caused by a treatable cataract. Frequently, lack of treatment stems from poor access to medical care, as is often the case in India.
Dr Rainer Brockhaus, CBM CEO said, “In India, one of the world’s most populous countries, there is a real need for ophthalmologists with the right training.
“With this new centre, we’re doing our part to enable top-quality ophthalmic care. In the future, poorer people in remote regions will also benefit from this.”
CBM has supported the eye hospital run by the Poona Blind Men Association since 2000. The renowned eye care clinic serves a region with more than 37 million people and conducts field visits within a 350 kilometer radius. In the past year alone, more than 580,000 patients sought help from the H.V. Desai Eye Hospital, and more than 34,000 of them underwent cataract surgery. The local partner covers the costs for those people who cannot afford treatment.
This was the case for ten year old Anjali who lives with her grandparents in Pune. Almost blind in both eyes and struggling to see what was being taught in class, the team from H.V. Desai Eye Hospital diagnosed a cataract in each of Anjali’s eyes during a mass screening at her school. Anjali underwent surgery at the H.V. Desai Eye Hospital. The procedure took only a few minutes and completely restored her eyesight.
Improved education and instruction at the new training centre will ultimately give even more people in India the gift of sight.