Flying eye hospital to land in Kolkata

  • Subhendu Maiti, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
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  • Updated: Aug 14, 2013 12:18 IST

The dream team in eye surgeries will operate on 100 patients free of cost inside a flying hospital, which will land at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport on September 9.

The aircraft will be in the city for 15 days.

Dr Jonathon Song, paediatric opthalmologist associated with the Wilmer Eye Institute of John Hopkins School of Medicine (Baltimore), Dr Roberto Pineda of Harvard Medical School, Dr Paul Chan, an expert in retinopathy of prematurity, of Weil Cornell Medical College in New York, Dr Monte del Monte, a cross eye expert, of University of Michigan, Dr John Leslie Brooks, consultant opthalmologist of Moorfield Eye Hospital in London, Dr Virender Sangnan attached with the L V Prasad Eye Institute will perform surgeries inside the DC-10.

The US-based NGO Orbis is organising the mercy mission, which has in the past visited Bangladesh, India, China, Ethiopia and Latin American states since 1982. The flying eye hospital is equipped with a 50-seat classroom, a laser treatment room with a separate operation theatre.

“Our doctors will also give training to ophthalmologists, nurses and other support staff on board,” Rahul Ali, Orbis country director in India told HT.

 He added, “Our fight is against preventable blindness.

In India, we have launched a mission against childhood blindness since 2000. In Kolkata, the state-run Regional Institute of Opthalmology (RIO), Susrut Eye Foundation, Disha Eye Hospital and Shankar Netralaya will coordinate with us during the 15 day-long programme,” Ali said.

“In Bengal, the state government has taken initiative to prevent infant mortality. It has set up sick newborn care units in district hospitals and medical colleges. Our programme will also help opthalmologists enrich their training on retinopathy of prematurity among infants,” he added.

The host institutes have screened the patients and uploaded the details to the Orbis site called Cyber Sight. The host institutes will also organise training programmes.

There will be two-way audio visual training modules, which will help trainees as well young opthalmologists observe and enquire about the latest in eye surgery.

The airport authorities have also waived parking charges for the eye hospital.


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